Washington arrived in Houston full of dreams, but empty on name recognition. He set out to get his name out there. The first event of the evening was a rap battle. Washington doesn’t rap, but he does dabble in poetry. The event organizers saw no problem with adding a little slam poetry to the mix, so he signed up and they slated him to perform last.
As the only poet in a room full of rappers, he stood out. He got his name out there, and as the final performer, “Joseph Washington” remained in attendees’ minds long after.
The next day, presidential candidates rose to the same stage to share their vision for the organization’s next few years. Founded in 1947 as a result of minorities being excluded from participating in the American Pharmacists Association, the National Pharmacists Association, or NPHA, and its student organization founded in 1972, SNPhA, focused on programs geared toward the improvement of the health, educational and social environment of minority communities.
Speaking of his plans for the organization, Washington said, “It is my hope to perpetuate and maximize this organization’s effectiveness and the quality of the care we distribute around the world. Keeping in mind the ideology of Benjamin Franklin: ‘Without words like progress and growth, words like improvement, achievement and success have no meaning.’”
SNPhA’s delegates voted and made Washington the first, in recent memory, UF College of Pharmacy student to serve as president of a national organization.