Meet Joar

The story behind the politician

Joar has always described himself as a product of Darby Borough. Joar, his mother and younger brother, Josephine and Josephus respectively, immigrated to Darby Borough 15 years ago after living in Ghana for 5 years as refugees escaping the Liberian Civil War. Surviving birth in the midst of a war, Joar had no choice but to have an optimistic viewpoint on life. 

Joar attended a local parochial school, Mary Mother of Peace Area Catholic School (MMOP) in Southwest Philadelphia. Joar’s leadership ability was discovered there. While at MMOP, Joar served as an Altar Server, a Eucharistic Minister, a Lector and a Sacristan for his local Parish, Divine Mercy Parish, St Barnabas Parish, and the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, (Joar continued serving until his departure for college). Joar graduated from MMOP in 2011 as the president of the Student Council. At his graduation, Joar was awarded many honors and accolades but the one he highlights most is his eight (8) years of perfect attendance award. Joar highlights this because this was a goal he set while in Kindergarten: to never miss a day of school - and he never did, from 1st grade to 8th grade. 

Upon graduating from MMOP, Joar attended the Roman Catholic High School for Young Men. While at Roman, Joar had many opportunities to serve others and he did just that. As a freshman, Joar became involved at Roman as soon as he put his uniform on and walked through those doors at Broad and Vine. He was the captain of the football team, a Kairos leader, very involved with campus ministry, student council, and many other student organizations. Joar’s stellar academic performance secured him a Monsignor Mitchell Scholarship while at Roman and also a full academic scholarship to his alma mater, Bloomsburg University. At Joar’s high school graduation, he was well celebrated, albeit once again, the accolade he highlights most is the award Roman presented him for achieving twelve (12) years of perfect attendance - Joar stayed true to a promise he made himself while in Kindergarten. 

Upon Graduating from Roman, Joar went on to Bloomsburg University (BU). Joar once again began to serve as soon as he arrived on campus. A devoted Catholic, Joar’s first mission when he arrived on campus was to find a place of worship. Joar became a parishioner at the local parish in Bloomsburg, St. Columba Church. Joar continued to be an Altar Server, Lector, and Eucharistic Minister at St. Columba. At BU, Joar became very involved, he was a member of over a dozen student organizations and held leadership positions in most of them. Joar’s long list of selfless services ultimately made his peers elect him as president of his class (2019) and also president of the Community Government Association Incorporated, Bloomsburg University’s Student Government. Joar also served as the President of the African Student Association, Vice President of the Frederick Douglas Debate Society, advisor to the Council of Trustees, advisor to the Multicultural Center, a member of the BU Foundation Board of Directors, among many others. 

Joar has hosted, organized, and presented at many conferences: statewide, nationwide, and globally. Joar has also organized and hosted many community events, forums, marches, discussions, etc. The most notable of some of those forums being the annual Beyond the Fountain event, a conversation about racism in our community, and the Stand4Peace initiate, an annual event organized by Joar and his friend and campaign operative Cheick Diawara. Stand4Peace was in response to the increase in gun violence in our community, especially because we grew up with a lot of the victims and perpetrators. 

Joar’s work as president of BU’s student government did not only impressed his peers/constituents (consequently granting him reelections until he graduated), it also impressed his colleagues across the Commonwealth. All 14 student government presidents at our state universities got together and decided to elect Joar as the Chairman of the Board of Student Government Presidents (BSGP - the State’s Student Union). Joar’s work also caught the eyes of Governor Tom Wolf. The Governor nominated Joar to become a member of PASSHE’s Board of Governors, the governing body for the largest provider of Higher Education in the Commonwealth. The State Senate unanimously approved Joar’s nomination making Joar one of the youngest statewide public officials at 21 years old. As a member of the Board of Governors, Joar advocated for many things. Notable of those things are an increase in state funding to the state system, more resources for student support, and a common application for all state-owned universities to save students money: instead of having to pay to apply at each of the 14 institutions individually.

Joar recently worked as Campaign Manager for Anton Andrew, the Democratic nominee for State Representative in PA 160. He is currently on the executive committee for the Delaware County Young Democrats and a member of the Delaware County Black Caucus. Joar currently works full-time for the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus. In his private life, Joar enjoys coaching football to promising elementary, high school, and college student-athletes through Focused Athletics, a local nonprofit. Just as Joar made a promise to himself in kindergarten and actually stayed true to that promise, he has once again made a promise to himself that if elected mayor, he will do everything in his capacity to move Darby forward.