Jozef Bladek has been greeting locals and visitors at the Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum since December 2016. In addition to his role as museum attendant, Jozef conducts tours of the History Museum, participants in outreach programs, assists with the smooth operations of exhibit openings and recently, he has added Pioneer Village field tripattendant to his repertoire.
Jozef respects and appreciates Florida’s history, and enjoys talking to guests about their historical knowledge.
JB: When I first started working, an older gentleman came in. We talked for about an hour just on citrus. As a young adult, he had been a truck driver that picked up citrus through out Kissimmee. He said U.S. 192 was all citrus groves lining the road, before Disney, of course. Now you look around and all you see is people and not a single bit of citrus. Another thing I thought was interesting was meeting some of the Cadman Family descendants.
Larissa Bixby asked Jozef a series of questions, in the hopes of getting to know the young man who works the front desk at the museum. This is what she found out:
LB: You just graduated high school, what do you plan on doing next?
JB: I plan on continuing my education by attending college. I’m excited to begin college in August. It’s a new chapter of my life and I’ll be able to study what I find interesting.
LB: Speaking of things you find interesting, what is your favorite blog or podcast?
JB: “Stuff You Missed in History Class”. It’s a podcast from HowStuffWorks.com. The title is self-explanatory. The other one I occasionally listen to is a political podcast called “The Ben Shapiro Show”.
LB: What about the best book you’ve ever read?
JB: "The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Santayana” by Russell Kirk. His book is intriguing. It talks about how conservatism really works.
LB: What’s your favorite thing to do?
JB: Travel. I love to see new things, even places I’ve been to in the past. I can fly, drive, or hike for hours without getting tired. Some of my favorite memories all involve exploring new places. In Summer 2015, I remember taking an eco tour on kayaks into the mangroves of Key West, and snorkeling at some of the most gorgeous reefs. I have learned and retained information from sources beyond reading books.
LB: What three traits define you?
JB: Three traits that define me are: honesty, confidence, and awareness. I find that these are consistent with me.
LB: What is your motto or personal mantra?
JB: “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill. It’s my motto because in life you’ll have hard times, and sometimes you might fail at a goal you have, but with passion and enthusiasm you can conquer anything.
LB: How do you define success?
JB: Everyone defines success differently, but in my eyes, it’s not based off your income, but the knowledge you have of that career, and the experience you gain. With that your passion will show your success. One of my favorite quotes is from Thomas Edison. He said, “Success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.” The work you put into your success is what you’ll get out of it.
LB: What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome thus far in your life?
JB: Working with my father. In the begining, I thought it was going to be easy money, but boy was I wrong. My father renovates Wendy’s, Tommy Hilfiger and many other establishments. The work is sometimes fun, but has its challenges, especially when working for your father. My dad is someone who likes to relax and have fun, but when it comes to his business he is a perfectionist and wants everything done 100%. On a jobsite, he’s not dad, he’s my boss, the one who signs my paycheck at the end of the week. I thank him for allowing me to experience hard labor. He taught me many traits and useful things I never knew. I still help him when I’m not working at OCHS.
LB: Last one, tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.
JB: When I start college in the Fall, I’ll be majoring in Political Science. I plan on getting my Masters by 2023-2024. That’s only 6-7 years from now. So, by the time I’m 25, I’ll hopefully have help run at least one major political campaign, and interned for many smaller and different campaigns, giving me more experience. At the age of 25, I’ll be able to run for the US House of Representatives. Then when I’m 30, I’ll be able to run for Senate. At one point, I would truly be honored to run for President (I’ll have to wait until I’m 35, according to the law). I love to help people, and as a young adult I see problems that need to be fixed. As I get older, I know my personality will change and I will have a different perspective on things, but I’m very persistent and I don’t give up very easily.
LB: Wow, keep your eye on that prize, Jozef. With your goal firmly set and your amazing attitude, I don’t doubt that you will one day be on the docket for President! Thank you so much for spending this time with me.
Now that you know Jozef a little better, come in and say hello at the Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum!