When we started the SPRTER College Impact Awards (formerly the Athlete CRUSH College Impact Awards), we knew that college athletes were doing a lot of positive things in the community. What we didn’t realize, was how significant of an impact they were having. As soon as we started accepting submissions, we started getting some incredible stories, one of which came from Josh Bringuel of San Diego State University. He immediately stood out and became an instant hit with our review committee.
We managed to get a hold of Josh for an interview on what motivates him to do all the good he does.
“When you have the ability to help and there is a need, you have an obligation to find a way to help.” For Josh, this is not just a fancy proverb he picked up, it is a lifestyle. This idea was ingrained in Josh by his parents at a young age and helped mold him into the man he is today.
Josh recalls his plethora of experiences he had giving back to the community at a young age, whether that was helping out with the local Little League program, assisting in a pancake breakfast, or feeding the homeless at the local shelter. During his middle school years, he also volunteered with children with special needs at the local elementary school.
His charitable nature drew him to Bellarmine College Preparatory High School. Bellarmine’s mission is to create “men for and with others,” which it undoubtedly has with Josh.
Now a redshirt sophomore linebacker on the San Diego State University football team, Josh listens to Head Coach Rocky Long’s advice of being the best you can possibly be at everything you do. He hopes to see his hard work culminate in a professional career in the NFL one day. Despite the time and effort needed to pursue that dream, this hasn’t stopped Josh from dedicating significant time to other causes. He participates in the ‘Shop with a Jock’ program, which enables him to take underprivileged children shopping during the Christmas season. He also provides tours for high school students via the AVID program and speaks to local youth at elementary and middle schools.
Additionally, Josh coaches children between 4th and 8th grade alongside two of his SDSU teammates, Trenton Fincher and Parker Houston, for the NFL Flag San Diego program. He’s devoted time the past two seasons, contacting parents and setting up practice times to help the kids absorb the game and teach teamwork. He challenges them by demanding their best efforts and using various terminology that they use in practice at SDSU. Josh maintains that as long as you remain a great ally and positively reinforce behaviors, children can accomplish great things.
Josh’s participation with AMOR Ministries has played a significant role in earning him a spot on the shortlist for the Athlete CRUSH College Impact Catalyst Award. Starting in high school, he went on multiple immersion trips to Tijuana, Mexico, to help build homes for families in poverty. Josh brought that initiative to SDSU and organized the first AMOR immersion trip through the athletic department this year. Josh recruited five other student-athletes to help build a home for a five-person family, including a 2-year old child. Josh wanted to ensure that Taylor Alexander, Neil Boudreau, Hannah Taylor, Lexi Tan, and Ryli Quinn got the credit they deserved for helping build a home for this family in just three days. As a result of the efforts of these student-athletes, the SDSU Athletic Department has formed a relationship with AMOR and is looking to make this an annual project.
To Josh Bringuel, none of this seems extraordinary or difficult. As he puts it: “Service is not something that you choose to do, it’s something that you do, it’s just part of living.” It’s an incredible outlook on life and his actions definitely prove that he is a catalyst in the community. He has positively affected hundreds of lives and continues to find new ways to help those around him.
“Set the world on fire” was another term used at Bellarmine. If Josh hasn’t done that yet, he’s most certainly blazing a trail to get there. Excellent work, Josh!
Ladies and gentleman, we present to you our 2018 SPRTER College Impact Catalyst Award winner!
Follow these awesome athletes mentioned in the article on social media:
Josh Bringuel: SPRTER – Josh Bringuel; IG – @josh_bringuel; Twitter – @josh_bringuel
Taylor Alexander: IG – @taylor__alexander
Neil Boudreau: IG – @neil_boudreau; Twitter – @neilboudreau12
Hannah Taylor: IG – @hnnhtylr; Twitter – @hnnhtylr1
Lexi Tan: IG – @flexi____; Twitter – @tannn_lexiii
Ryli Quinn: IG – @rcqquinn
Parker Houston: IG – @8houston2; Twitter – @8HOUSTON2
Trenton Fincher: Twitter – @tfincher2016