Josh Heltsley graduated from Gillespie High School (GHS) in 2006, earning a W.E. Schmidt Family Foundation Scholarship. He used the $500 Partnership tuition award at the University of Missouri (Mizzou) at Columbia.
Josh earned a Bachelors of Science in 2010, having majored in biochemistry and minored in biological sciences.
He is currently working as a chemist at the Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery at Roxana, Illinois. “My responsibilities include ensuring finished petroleum products – including jet fuel, diesel fuel, gasoline, benzene, and odorless mineral spirits – meet federal, corporate, and customer specifications and standards,” he says.
In addition, he monitors crude oil for feed into distilling units and does “method development and certification of all products that leave the refinery gates.” Josh is also involved in statistical analysis of data and technical support and special testing for all operating units.
Josh and his wife Nicole have a son, Tucker. His favorite leisure activities are spending time with family, hunting, fishing and boating. In addition, Josh volunteers with the Mt. Olive Volunteer Fire Department and coaches boys’ and girls’ track and field (hurdles and sprints) at Mt. Olive High School. He’s proud that the school has produced three state qualifiers in hurdles since 2015.
Reflecting on the importance of higher education, Josh notes: “All of the post-secondary education that I received has positioned me well inside this company to succeed,” he says. “In the 21st century, a high school education just isn’t enough to set you up to live comfortably. You may be able to find a job, but post-secondary education will help you discover a career path for your future where you can enjoy what you do every day.”
He adds, “The education I received at GHS and Mizzou has made me who I am today. The cost of a four-year university education is high, but the experience is one that is unforgettable and worth the investment to anyone who is willing to put in the work to succeed.”
In regard to the value of his Partnership award, Josh says: “Across the U.S. employers continue to increase the minimum requirements to be eligible for positions within their companies.” Meanwhile the price of the necessary post-secondary education continues to rise.
“For a lot of young people just starting out in the world this [cost] can be discouraging,” he says. “It is important to have programs like The Partnership’s to help set up young adults for success. I am forever grateful to have been a scholarship recipient of The Partnership.”
Josh is the son of Roger and Brenda Heltsley of Eagarville.