Maple Grove Senior Constructing Career In Architecture

ELLERY-When it comes to choosing career paths, Joshua Ahlstrom has pared down his decision with tremendous precision.

“I’m going into architecture,” said Josh, a senior at Maple Grove High School.

Josh likes to work with his hands and is predictably drawn to the subject of math. Josh said he is always looking for a challenge, and feels that math is his calling. He is currently enrolled in precalculus.

“My grades aren’t exceedingly impressive,” he said. “Sometimes I have to work hard to be successful with it, but it does come quite easily to me.”

Josh has been accepted, and is committed to, the architecture program at Alfred State College. At the completion of the four-year program, Josh said he has been offered a job by a friend with a firm in the Maple Springs area.

In preparation for his unwavering career choice, Josh has taken several classes at Maple Grove that he said will contribute to his knowledge of architectural principles. These classes include tech drawing, design and drawing for production, environmental science, physics and various tech classes. He has also taken a college collective keyboarding class, which provided him with three college credits to apply toward his freshman year.

Josh, who is a New York Yankees fan, hopes that his career will culminate with a job in New York City.

His extracurricular activities with Maple Grove include involvement in cross-country, basketball and baseball. He is also an Eagle Scout; Josh attributes much of his practical knowledge of life skills to that program.

“I’ve learned an insane amount of stuff from it. I’ve definitely put a lot of it into my life practice,” he said.

Josh has earned merit badges in tech drawing and architecture, which he can apply toward his career path. He also said he will receive a Palm-a pin representing multiple merit badges and awarded for staying active within a Scout unit for three months after attaining Eagle status-upon turning 18 years old.

According to Julie Verdonik, seventh- and eighth- grade principal, Josh is a role model for both younger students and his own peers.

“I’ve seen him step into situations where he was very helpful to other kids, and he did what was right,” she said. “When the younger kids see what he does, they follow his actions. He’s very helpful to them. He’ll give them advice, and he’ll talk to them, and he has stepped up for kids that were in tough situations with peers. He diffused the situation, he got the kids to do what they need to do, and that was the end of it.”

She added: “He’s got a good heart, he’s a kind person and, this year, he really sticks out to me. I feel fortunate that he’s here and the other kids have his example to follow.”

To nominate a student for Standing Out In The Crowd, contact Gavin Paterniti at 487-1111, ext. 243, or email