By Lynn Jacobs

One of our scholars, Jerry Johnson, recently told us that his ability to succeed had always been doubted; his friends, and even his family members, told him he would drop out of school and do drugs because bad behavior “ran in his blood.” But, Jerry is a young man who thinks positive. “I see that if I am passionate about something, I can complete it no matter the difficulty. If I put in the effort, I’ll have a good outcome,” he says. Those words reflect the hard won maturity of an 18-year-old teen determined to disprove his doubters. Jerry has consistently demonstrated an ability to overcome adversity, to set goals, to work hard — and, perhaps most importantly — to make strong connections with caring adults around him.

Jerry attended nine schools in nine years before arriving as a freshman at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco. Most influential in Jerry’s life at Lincoln were his counselor and his track and field coach. Jerry credits both for “being there for me every day and helping me to stay on track”. Jerry recently graduated from Lincoln, with a 2.8 GPA and hopes to be the first member of his family to earn a college degree. Thanks to a 4-year scholarship from SF Achievers and a few other small scholarships, he will be attending the College of San Mateo in the fall.

Jerry plans to study both business and agriculture in college as he works toward his long-term goal of owning and operating an organic farm. When asked if he is nervous about going to college, Jerry answered, “No, I’m not nervous. I know it will be hard work, but not work I can’t handle.” Thus far, he’s proven that he can handle just about anything, so there’s little doubt that this SF Achiever will continue to conquer every challenge that comes his way.

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