Charles J

Charles "CJ" Johnson, North Dallas High School grad from the Class of 1988, and for the past 15 years, a security guard. He has my vote for angel, Superman, and hero.

Just a few of the reasons:

* CJ began and is the sponsor of the three culture clubs at North Dallas: the African American , Asian American, and Latin American ones. He has a celebration for each group twice a year and honors kids who've made the honor roll. (The African American celebration is Thursday night, February 17, at 5 pm in the cafeteria. Come. They love visitors.)

*He sponsors the Gay/Straight Alliance, the only one of its kind in the district and which kids from across the district attend (He said no one else would do it, so he had to!).

*He is the sponsor and the muscle behind the Woods and Waters Club. With help from a wonderful clerk at the school and her family he takes kids camping and fishing two weekends a year. These are kids who've never been out of the city. He teaches the kids how to fish and, when they graduate, he gives them a fishing pole. They have to have passing grades to go, though.

*He is the wrestling coach, which includes attending and coaching at meets during the week and weekend, and holding practice sessions Monday-Thursday, from 4-6:30 during wrestling season. The rest of the year, he holds conditioning classes for the wrestling team and anyone else who wants to join them, Monday-Thursday, 4 - 6 pm.

*He conducts conditioning opportunities for all North Dallas kids in Cole Park the month before school starts for two hours five days a week. He tries to get snacks and drinks for the kids from donors. Otherwise, he funds it himself.

*Over the past 11 years, he has taken 38 young homeless boys into his home that he shares with his mother. Thirty-six of them have graduated and went to college. When they graduate he helps them buy a car. He arranges for them to attend college on scholarship. Now, he has 3 more boys living with him. One of them is a returnee. He had a job and was going to junior college but he lost his job, so he asked CJ if he could move back because he couldn't afford his apartment and still go to school. Of course, CJ agreed. The other two boys attend North Dallas High School. He is helping one of them apply for political asylum.

CJ's mother had to quit her job as an adult day care worker due to her health. To pick up the slack, CJ has taken on a second job as a security guard from midnight to 10 am on Friday night/Saturday morning and, again, on Saturday night/Sunday morning at Seagoville Penitentiary.

Last fall CJ won the Jack Lowe, Sr, Humanitarian of the Year award given by the Dallas Bar Association. He is the first non-businessman to win this. Perhaps just letting people know about him and what he does will inspire them to want to be a part of his many efforts to truly support at risk youth. He puts his time, energy and money where everyone else's mouth is!

CJ defines the term "Everyday Hero".

Submitted by Anonymous


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