Josh Thompson

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Name: Josh Thompson
Hometown: Riverside
Profession: Associate Pastor, Harvest Christian Fellowship

“Hello, my name is Josh Thompson, and my vision is for a state that has better morals, better ethics and a society that will really uphold itself to good conduct, because the world is watching us.”

For Thompson, who's 29, a life based in the gospel can lead to positive changes and influence the lives of others. He believes this positivity and consideration for the people around you can help move California Forward.

Born and raised in Riverside, his spiritual journey with Harvest Christian Fellowship began when he was in high school. He was a senior with a job bagging groceries at a Riverside market. One Sunday, he was on a break and found himself drawn to the church across the street.

From that point, his involvement would grow and deepen, including a pastors-in-training school in Mexico. There, he helped care for disabled orphans. “The experience changed my life forever,” Thompson said.

Then, in 2010, he joined the pastoral staff for the church, one of the largest in the United States. His assignments include helping oversee The Well, a college and career ministry. He works with more than 400 college students and is impressed by their passion and energy to stand up for good things.

It's the kind of energy that Thompson would like to see politicians emulate, to focus their efforts on what is best for the people they serve. Government leaders could take a cue from the open-hearted folks who share what they have, despite their own struggles in today's rocky economy. “They have it in their hearts to want to give more when people are hurting,” he said. “They think about the person next to them.”

It's also a mindset that the average Californian can follow. Thompson said the state's people are fearless in standing up for what they believe in. “I view it as a strong community.”

And, as a fellow Californian, he hopes people can turn away from selfish considerations and think more about their neighbors to help improve the quality of life in the state. “If we just chose to do those kind of things, it would change a lot.”

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