Amy Jones-Timoney

By

College: Business and Economics

"see impact." Alum Finds Passion Through Teach for America Program

Published: Nov 8, 2011

 

For a transcript of this video, please click here.

 

 

There are times when what you are looking for is closer than you think.

 

And being open to that possibility can make all the difference.

 

That was Brian Johnson’s experience in deciding to attend the University of Kentucky. A native of Lexington, Johnson never visited the UK campus and was sure he would go out-of-state for school as he applied several different schools all over the country.

 

But a full scholarship to UK – through the William C. Parker Scholarship – a visit on campus that impressed him with UK’s scenery and the people and faculty he met and engaged with kept him close to home.

 

“I applied to 15 different schools … I wanted to go far west coast, far east cast, but my parents said I needed to make sure,” Johnson said recently. “I went through the application process at UK too and I got a full ride, so my parents weighed financial aid or an awesome school with a free education. That’s how I wound up at the University of Kentucky.”

 

Even though he didn’t intend to attend UK, Johnson said that decision made all the difference for him. He joined a fraternity where he met young men who are still his closest friends. He quickly found he could have access to faculty members, who valued their interactions and teaching exchanges with him. And, by chance again, he found a career path – at least for now – that was far different than anything he expected.

 

“As soon as I was there, I knew this was the place I was supposed to be the whole time,” he said. “You know, I applied to all these different places and this place is such as microcosm of positivity … just really interesting and fun people.”

 

Johnson, a marketing major in the Gatton College of Business & Economics, fully expected to enter the business world after summer internships with a couple of companies. A Fortune 500 company or other major business where his sights were firmly fixed.

 

But Johnson wanted to experience “something that was more personal … One day I just happened to see the sign and thought, ‘oh, Teach for America,’ because at the time I was a substitute teacher and did that part-time … I sat down and met a few people from UK who did Teach for America and I thought ‘this is an amazing program where you can really have impact on students … This is something that, one, I am really interested in and am passionate about, and two, I can … help somebody else out, too.”

 

Teach for America trains bright young men and women, who commit to teach for two years in some of the most challenging school districts in the country. It is a highly competitive program and in recent years UK has been among the leading universities in the country in supplying Teach for America candidates.

 

Johnson now teaches at a charter school in the Bronx, New York. For many young students, Johnson says, he has become something of a  “surrogate parent” and mentor. Johnson teaches an advanced level math class. He often thinks back to his interactions with professors – particularly those who challenged him to push harder and achieve more – when teaching young students. “Linking back to UK, I think it’s the same mantra,” Johnson says. “When you work hard, and you do the right things, you can be really successful and that’s why I’m here today. I’m a small-town boy who’s been able to reach thousands of students here in New York.”

brian_johnson_1.jpgbrian_johnson_2.jpgbrian_johnson.jpg
File Downloads
September
 
1
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Labor Day - Academic Holiday
Mon
2
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Internship Info Session
Student/Faculty/Staff Mixer
Tue
3
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: The Wolf of Wall Street
Last Day to Add a Class
Last Day to Drop a Course with 80% Refund
UK Volunteer Fair
Wed
4
LNFS Presents: Children of Men
LNFS Presents: How To Train Your Dragon 2
Black and Latino Male Initiative
Advance Your Swagger: A Night with Fonzworth Bentely
Thu
5
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Northern Iowa
Kentucky Volleyball vs. USC
LNFS Presents: Spirited Away
LNFS Presents: Mulan
Fri
6
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Kentucky Football vs. Ohio
#maxfest (Ukirklex Campus Ministry)
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Creighton
Lets Swing Dance!
Sat
7
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Morehead State
Sun
8
Diversity Organization's Council
Kosher/Soul? (Jewish, African American & Appalachian culture Fuse)
Mon
9
Working Moms Connection
Job Club - Job Search Strategies for Fall
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Tue
10
Massage on the Go
College: Do the Right Thing- A conversation with Dr. Smith
The Future of Islam
LNFS Presents: Fight Club
Wed
11
9/11 Vigil
UKNABJ presents: Ferguson, Missouri: A look at media, politics and black youth in the U.S.
LNFS Presents: Mr & Mrs Smith
Duo Damiana, Molly Barth and Dieter Hennings
LNFS Presents: 22 Jump Street
Thu
12
LNFS Presents: Searching For Sugarman
LNFS Presents: Sin City
Fri
13
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Men's Soccer vs. ETSU
Sat
14
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Pepperdine
Sun
15
Kentucky Week Farmer's MarCat and Craft Fair
Majestic U.N.I.T.Y.
Mon
16
Justice Delayed not Justice Denied: A Talk with Dough Jones
PRHBTN Gallery Reception and Concert
Men's Soccer vs. Xavier
Chellgren Seminar Series: Buck Ryan
Tue
17
Internship Info Session
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Caregiver Support Group
LNFS Presents: The Immigrant
Big Blue Commonwealth
Wed
18
LNFS Presents: Watermark
LNFS Presents: X-Men: Days of Future Past
Ryan Gardner Guest Trumpet Recital
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Lipscomb
Thu
19
LNFS Presents: A Band Called Death
LNFS Presents: Prisoners
The Case for Fossil Fuels-PEIK Seminar
Men's Soccer vs. Furman
Fri
20
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
College of Pharmacy Open House
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Xavier
Sat
21
 
Sun
22
Diana Ferrus: 'Writing poetry has allowed me to live': Cultural Resistance in South Africa
Kentucky Law Schools Forum
Mon
23
Pinterest Party
University of Kentucky Chamber Winds
Employer Showcase
Job Club - 10 Questions to Ask Prior to Starting a Business
Men's Soccer vs. Lousville
Tue
24
Employer Showcase
Last Day to Drop a Course with 50% Refund
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn
BPH Open House
LNFS Presents: Saving Mr. Banks
Wed
25
LNFS Presents: Culture Jam
LNFS Presents: Maleficent
¡Baila!
Thu
26
LNFS Presents: Ponyo
LNFS Presents: The Little Mermaid
Opening Night Bohemiam Festival
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Women's Soccer vs. Mississippi State
Fri
27
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Kentucky Football vs. Vanderbilt
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Green Apple Day of Service: "Pick It Up"
Swing Dancing!
Sat
28
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
UK Chorale
Dirty Dancing Trip
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Auburn
Sun
29
 
Mon
30
#TrendingTopics: Immigration Reform
Apollo Duo - Flute and Percussion Guest Recital
Tue
 
 
 
 
Sep 17
Internship Info Session 09/17/2014

Wed, 09/17/2014

Thu, 09/18/2014

Reset Page