Pre-collegiate mentor: Bob Johnson
May 8, 2009
This man is the epitome of human decency and selflessness. Characteristics that few possess. One man who possesses such qualities is Bob Johnson. Johnson is a Pre-Collegiate mentor for whom one good deed isn’t enough.
“He has really helped me to find my way through a sea of tests and paperwork…he helps me see what I need to get to where I want to go,” a junior at GSHS Abril Loya said:
The Pre-Collegiate program is offered to students, who either had parents go to college in a different country, or are the first generation in their family to go to and complete college. “Pre-Collegiate is such an important endeavor, it gives kids a chance to better educate themselves, which is critical especially in the job market like today’s,” Loya said.
“Bob is really great, he always is willing to listen and he helps in any way he can,” Loya said. Loya has been in the program since she was a freshman because her parents did not go to college in this country.
Loya said, “The most important thing Bob taught me was that even though you have a busy life, there’s always time to help others,” Bob Johnson teaches this concept so clearly by his actions.
“I love helping kids, I love helping people,” Johnson said, “And this program lets kids grow into adults.”
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He raves about the seven of his students involved in the program. Johnson talks about how his kids are in this for the right reason; “they push themselves,” he said.
“The most important thing Bob taught me was that even though you have a lot of things going on, there is always time to help others,” said Loya. Johnson teaches this concept so clearly by his actions.
“I want these kids to know and to have that real college experience, “Johnson said while musing over stories of his college days. “I ran track,” Johnson said, “and my parents said, “Either focus on athletics or work.” My parents always wanted me to go to college an athletic scholarship was very important.”
He speaks of how college is more than just classes “It’s life experience and independence.” Johnson expresses how strongly he feels college is for everyone. He compares it to mama bird pushing the baby bird out of the nest. A child has to go to college, to learn how to fly on its own.
When Johnson isn’t off helping a child go to college he has plenty of other things to occupy his time. Johnson is a full-time real estate agent, a single dad, an d the founder and key organizer of Operation Vacation.
Johnson developed Operation Vacation one Christmas; he was watching the soldiers who saw their families for the first time in months. “Wouldn’t it be nice for the soldiers to have one vacation with their families?” Johnson said. The next day he developed the nonprofit organization Operation Vacation.
Then when he’s not selling real estate, or helping children and soldiers he still has time and dedication to being a full time dad. He talks about his five-year old son, who he wishes he could spend every minute with.
“Even when you have had a completely horrible day and you think there is nothing that could put you in a better mood, one smile from your kid and all of a sudden you yourself can’t stop smiling; having children is that powerful,” Johnson said.
A Real estate agent, the Founder of Operation Vacation, a full time dad and a Pre-Collegiate mentor. Bob has four full time jobs. Even superman only had two.