Joe Toles Joins Board of Directors

Learning Life is pleased to announce that Joe Toles — nationally acclaimed father to eight young men adopted from foster care, mental health counselor, and foundation founder — has joined our Board of Directors. Joe will serve as Board Chair in 2022, and joins Treasurer, Khadija Hashemi, and Secretary, Suzanne Lachelier, on the Board. Joe has been involved with Learning Life’s since 2020, when he participated in the Family Diplomacy Initiative‘s international food culture project. He also participated in FDI’s 2021 series of international dialogues on forces impacting family health and safety, and is preparing to participate in this year’s FDI family storytelling training.

“I am thrilled to have Joe join the Board of Directors because he exemplifies the caring our intertwined yet divided world desperately needs. He also brings substantial experience in nonprofit leadership and communications. We’re really proud to have him as one of our family diplomats, and now as our Board Chair to help lead Learning Life’s growth.,” said Learning Life’s Founder & Director, Paul Lachelier. Learn more about Joe from his bio and Rachael Ray Show video below.

Joseph Toles is a New York State-licensed Mental Health Counselor, founder of The Joseph Toles Foundation, entrepreneur, and father of eight adopted young men. He received his MS in Sports Psychology from Brooklyn College, and he specializes in the comprehensive assessment of adolescent needs.  A former Division One All-American Track and Field Athlete at Auburn University, Joseph also earned the honor of leading the Tigers team as Captain. Having grown up in the New York State foster care system, Joseph has dedicated his entire professional career to working in community-based schools and nonprofit service agencies.  In 2005, Joseph formed The Joseph Toles Foundation so he could expand his work of supporting families beyond what could be done via a social service agency.  At age 49, Joseph opened his home to adolescents who had also grown up in the foster care system.  To date, he has adopted eight sons, his most recent son, Trenton, in winter 2022.  Joe believes that a loving family is the best way to help a child who has been placed in the foster care system.  In 2016, Joseph retired from his full-time responsibilities as a counselor in the public school system to evolve.  He has since assisted professionals seeking a license as a Mental Health Counselor by teaching graduate courses at Alfred University, hosted a series of video shows for The Dad, created multi-media videos, which he distributes via social media, and authored his first book, The Spirit of Christmas. Joseph spends most of his time working towards educating and encouraging people to learn more about the plight of children who are living their lives in the foster care system. He uses his own story to demonstrate the power positive connections can have on a child, and how family is the most powerful elixir. 

Learn more about Learning Life’s boards here.  Learn more about each member of our Board of Directors, and other Learning Life people here.