Category: Georgetown Magazine, Spring 2021

Title:Alumnus raises funds for furloughed hospitality workers during pandemic

Author: Camille Scarborough
Date Published: May 27, 2021

Shortly after graduating from Georgetown, Joshua Davis (C’17) worked as a consultant at Deloitte by day, and as a line cook at Oyamel, a José Andrés restaurant in downtown Washington, D.C., by night. Though he stopped his night job after five tiring months, the experience sparked an interest in entrepreneurship, specifically the home delivery of restaurant-quality ingredients.

He was still making plans and building local supplier relationships when the pandemic hit, closing restaurants in D.C. and throughout the country. Millions of service industry workers lost their jobs and began struggling to get food on the table for their families.

Remembering friends he made while working in Oyamel’s kitchen, Davis raised $20,000 to donate fresh fruits and vegetables from local farms to service workers furloughed or laid off due to the pandemic. “It’s unacceptable to think that the people who dedicate their lives to making us food could be going hungry—so I decided to help them, while supporting local farmers as well,” says Davis.

He delivered the food himself, in a borrowed pickup truck, at the end of his Deloitte workday and during the weekends. “I reminded myself that these efforts meant that a person from a marginalized community could live a safer, healthier life, even for a moment,” he says.

“I saw every delivery, every smile, every ‘gracias’ as a small win in a bigger fight against the systems that have made it harder for Black and brown people in America. Each of those small wins were my fuel when I was running on fumes.”

His passion for service found a natural home at Georgetown. Originally from Dallas, Davis decided he wanted to be a Hoya after about 15 minutes visiting the Hilltop. “The emphasis on foreign service was part of what drew me to Georgetown. I played soccer competitively my entire life and the global reach of the sport made an impression on me. I decided to major in government, and learned Spanish so I could serve immigrant communities like those I played soccer with.”

By the end of 2020, the 100-hour workweeks had taken their toll, and Davis paused the food deliveries. But he’s already looking forward and planning his next steps in community service and food entrepreneurship.

“Georgetown taught me to embrace service as a lifestyle, rather than an activity. Now I approach my everyday work and life with a service mentality, considering how I can use my realm of influence to improve the lives of my neighbor, colleague, or the world.”

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