- A US Army veteran fulfilled his childhood dream of being a physicist with the help of YouTube video tutorials
- After being deployed to Iraq, Joshua Carroll found a job as a janitor in a school where he discovered that he wanted to become a physicist
- He applied at Radford University and convinced the admissions officers to allow him to skip the prerequisites of the program and promised that he will learn trigonometry by himself
A US Army veteran who made his dreams of becoming a physicist come true by learning from YouTube videos is an inspiration that it is never too late to pursue your passion.
Joshua Carroll was just in Grade 10 when the tragic attacks happened at the World Trade Center in 2001. This was when he decided to get enlisted in the military. “I was a great student up until high school and that was when the 9/11 occurred, so I enlisted. I got my GED (General Education Development) and went to Iraq,” Carroll narrated in an interview with YouTube.
After being deployed three times, Carroll went back to his hometown in Blacksburg, Virginia with PTSD and generally a l0st sense of purpose. “I was kind of mission-less at that point,” he admitted.
He then started looking for a job and landed in a janitorial position in school. “Part of my duties is to clean the library and I discovered the Science Section there. I saw this little, tiny gold book just kind of tuck between two textbooks and I pulled it out and it was ‘A Brief History of Time’ by Stephen Hawking,” Caroll recounted.
He became hooked with the book and it sparked his interest for the stars.
Armed with nothing else but determination and his Grade 10 knowledge in geometry, he decided to pursue a physics degree. He effectively convinced the admissions officers at Radford University to allow him to skip the prerequisites of the program and promised that he will learn trigonometry by himself.
Fortunately, there were YouTube video tutorials available so he was able to learn the subject on his own in a span of three weeks. He shared, “Every time I get to a part of the problem that I did not understand, I’d pause the video and I would go find other videos explaining that and I would go down the rabbit hole that way until I figured out what it was that I was missing.”
Not only did he finish his studies, he also excelled as one of the top students in class. Today, Carroll has fulfilled his childhood dream of becoming a physicist, thanks to YouTube.