Terosha Johnson will tell you she lacked social skills. She ran with “Hood” kids. She did not like interacting with people, which makes going to college and maintaining a job far from reality. All this changed when she enrolled in Paxen, a program of Eckerd Kids at the beginning of the summer.
Today, along with 75 other youth, Terosha attended Paxen’s Coastal Youth Symposium in Brunswick, Georgia after working all summer. Because of a partnership Paxen established with Mimi Salon, Terosha was able to work under the owner and build on her knowledge of coloring and hair textures. Terosha said, “She means business, but she taught me even when I am having a bad day, I can wear a poker face,” about the months she spent at the salon. Terosha is amazed at her own transformation. “I run in a different crowd now. I hang around people who have things going for them.”
During today’s event, a particular moment stood out for Terosha during the law enforcement presentation. As they were giving recruitment information and describing their job, Terosha realized they are here to protect and serve her very community. It was not how she viewed law enforcement in the past, in fact, it was quite the opposite. She always considered them to be a nag. Today she saw different men and women in uniform standing in front of her. Today she saw them as individuals protecting the law.
Terosha’s journey does not end here. In January, she starts back up at Ogeechee Technical College with only two semesters left to earn her LPN. Anyone who talks with Terosha can hear her enthusiasm and would never believe she struggled at any time in a social setting.