P.O Joseph is someone who shows up for others.

**After supporting Kris Letang at last year’s NHL Awards**, he flew from Montreal to Pittsburgh just to march with the Penguins in the 2024 Juneteenth Grand Jubilee Parade this past weekend. It celebrated the end of American enslavement, highlighted the importance of voting rights, and honored military service.

“We live here, we're part of this community as well. It’s just our pleasure to come in here and support the people who are my origin, especially,” Joseph said. “It's a good time to be here and to see everyone and meet new people. I want to be here for as long as I can, so I gotta mix in with the community a little bit, and I think it starts with little things like that.”

Joseph is Haitian on his father’s side, with dad Frantzi immigrating to Montreal with his family when he was 2. Their journey had its challenges, and hearing about what his relatives went through “brings me back down to earth,” P.O said. “I come from a small neighborhood with maybe a little bit of poverty down in Montreal, and we're lucky to be doing what we're doing and giving back to the communities that speak for us.”

P.O is close with his paternal grandmother, calling her vegetarian cooking his favorite food (“since she cooks it with no meat, we were like, it's not going to fill us up as much as a big piece of meat would. But every time we go there, we cannot wait to come back for more. It's unbelievable!”) and has learned a lot about where she grew up through her many stories. “I love the culture,” Joseph has said. “I honestly totally embrace it.”

He loved seeing how people expressed themselves and their culture in the parade through the city, particularly all of the dancing in the streets. Joseph chatted easily with everyone he encountered, flashing his contagious grin and making people – especially kids – feel at ease. “When it’s such a tough time in the world, when you see people rally like that, it's fun,” Joseph said. “A day like that, just got to bring a smile on people's faces, and that's really the goal for everyone here.”

Despite his relatively young age – Joseph turns 25 on July 1 – he’s incredibly mature in embracing the representation he can provide for others through events like this one **and the Willie O’Ree Academy**. Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, it’s a training and enrichment program for local Black youth hockey players and their families, intent on advancing the skills of competitive athletes while developing a strong social support network.

“It’s representation, first of all, and showing that the Penguins are in it with the people here,” said Joseph, who has named P.K. Subban and Serena Williams as Black athletes that he admires. “It's also just showing people that we're more than just hockey players, we’re people as well. We're all in the same boat, we're all dealing with the same problems, and we're just there to rally with each other.”

P.O is so much more than his chosen profession, as he’s got such a zest for life, lives it to the fullest, and is never afraid to be himself. While he's been training hard over these past weeks, when he's done for the day, Joseph has been soaking up quality time with family and friends he doesn’t get to see much during the year. Particularly his older brother Mathieu, a forward for the Ottawa Senators. The siblings live together in Brossard, about 15 minutes outside of Montreal.

“We get along so well,” P.O said. “We’re the same people without being the same person. He's great. He's someone that I've looked up to my whole life, and it’s been great staying with him and learning from him, working out with him and watching TV shows – doing anything, really.”

They went on vacation to Costa Rica shortly after last season ended, which will likely remain the highlight of P.O’s summer. “Just to get away, it was fun to go see another country like that,” he said. “Costa Rica was honestly one of the best places I've been to, and I had such a nice experience.” P.O also went to Boston, and has a couple of weddings on the calendar.

Apart from that, P.O has been playing a lot of golf and working out with a trainer who was on staff in Tampa Bay when Mathieu won back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Lightning in 2021 and ’21. The goal remains the same for the 6-foot-2, 185-pound defenseman, who’s set to be a restricted free agent: gain muscle and weight.

“I'm working on it as much as I can, and I'm definitely getting pushed by my trainer this summer,” P.O said with a laugh. “I told him once, like, ahh, let's just work on this. He listened and went overboard with it. But it's good, it's good. It's pushing me and it's making me better for the team.”