Joseph Fisher

Joseph Fisher

CEO and Founder


Joe Fisher had a strong interest in helping youth from low and moderate-income backgrounds enter higher education. This interest was a direct result of the mentoring, encouragement, and assistance he received as a youth growing up in the East Capitol housing projects in Southeast, Washington, DC.

With guidance and intervention from his track coach, Mr. Hubert Gates, Joe attended and graduated from Catholic University and received his graduate degree from Morgan State University in Baltimore. Later he relocated to Laurel where he established First Generation College Bound. After teaching in the Howard County Public School System for 35 years and coaching the woman’s cross county and track teams at Catholic University for 39 years, he is now retired and focusing on FGCB.

I realize that our direct services alone will not create the educational opportunities that we want for low-income and first-generation youth in Prince George’s County.

Motivated by our vision that one day all Marylanders will have equal access to an affordable college education, FGCB not only provides students with college affordability advice and assistance but also advocates for college affordability and equitable regulations that remove barriers to success.

Letter to Prospective Nonprofit Founders

As a nonprofit founder with more than 31 years of experience, I know the challenges faced and sacrifices required to start and sustain a nonprofit. I have no doubt that if you are serious about starting a nonprofit, you have the empathy, passion, and commitment it will take to help those in need.

Due to learning about the 20-year commitment of medical institutions to make sure a new drug or procedure is effective, versus the 4- to the 6-year life span of public education innovations, I question the commitment of governments and school systems to our students, especially those of poverty. As a result, when I founded FGCB, I committed to spend a minimum of 20 years coaching students of poverty to attend college and graduate. I am blessed today to witness the results of FGCB’s vision and mission.

As a nonprofit founder, I have learned that you cannot achieve your vision and mission alone. Developing a well-trained and motivated staff – what we call a “human resource infrastructure” – is a key foundation of any business. It provides the support that holds the business together and helps keep its shape.

Download Letter to Prospective Nonprofit Founders

Joseph Fisher and FGCB have received the following awards in recognition of their dedication to young people’s futures:

  • Outstanding Contributions to the Present and Future of Prince George’s County, Prince George’s County Human Relations Committee, 1992
  • Community Service Award, Prince George’s County Department of Housing, 1992
  • Washingtonian of the Year, Washingtonian Magazine, 1993
  • Prince Georgian of the Year, Prince George’s County, 1993
  • Outstanding Achievement in Community Involvement, Maryland State Teachers Association, 1995
  • Living Spirit Award, Bowie State University, 1996
  • Achievement Award, National Association of Counties, 1997
  • Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Education, The Catholic University of America Alumni Association, 1997
  • Award of Excellence in Recognition of Outstanding Achievement, Baltimore-Washington Corridor Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Foundation, 1999
  • Community Development Block Grant Project with the Greatest Community Impact, Prince George’s County Department of Housing and Community Development, 1999
  • Best Practices Award, Prince George’s County Department of Housing and Community Development, 2004
  • Bridge Builder Award, Prince George’s Community Foundation, 2007
  • National Council of Negro Women "Angels Among Us" Award, Honorable Mention, 2010
  • Closing the Achievement Gap Award, Maryland State Education Association, 2011
  • Leaders Engaged in Achieving Development (LEAD) program fellow, Prince George's Community Foundation, 2012