Joseph Zoleta was born and raised in New York. So when he looked out his window one morning and saw the buildings he worked in at the World Trade Center crumble to the ground, as a New Yorker and an American, he wanted to take a stand. He had heard the call and decided to enlist in the Marine Corps.
When his second tour in Iraq was coming to an end, Joe still wanted to serve, but he was encouraged to find another way. A mentor reminded Joe that he had flirted with death too many times as a Marine, and there were other ways to give back without risking your life. Joe decided to return to New York City to continue to serve his community as a paramedic. But after a few years, he was still yearning to do more.
“I was a fulltime paramedic. I was an EMS manager… and I was just really grinding it out,” Joe says. “I felt like I already reached the apex of my career as a paramedic and I thought there’s gotta be more out there still….And I didn’t see myself sitting at the desk at that EMS for that much longer. I knew I had my own mission and the only way to do it was to take that leap or else I would never achieve it.”
He found a way through volunteering and a nonprofit he created called The Black 6 Project. He and some like-minded friends took a mission trip to Joe’s home country, the Philipines, and when they got back, Joe knew he wanted to find a way to do that work full time. But he had no way to fund the project.
That’s when fate stepped in and offered Joe a way forward through business … and coffee.
On this episode of Find Your Mission, hear how Joe repeatedly answered the call to serve, and how he adapted to every new situation he found himself in.
Learn more about Joseph and Black 6 Coffee Trading Co here.
Find Your Mission is presented by WeWork in partnership with Dell.
Thank you again to WeWork! Veterans in Residence, a partnership of WeWork and Bunker Labs, is a six-month startup incubator and leadership program that provides veteran and military family members the community, business support, and workspace to help launch and grow their businesses.
To learn more about WeWork and the Veterans in Residence program, visit we.co/veterans.
Also, thank you to our friends at Dell. Dell offers small business advisors to help any small business owner manage and understand all the ins and outs of technology in their small business. To speak with an Advisor today, Call 877-BUY-DELL or click here.
This podcast was created by the team at Mission. If you want to hear more from Mission, be sure to check out Mission.org.