Students visit WCCS for Johnson’s career expo

Published 11:24 pm Friday, April 15, 2016

Ryan Hurt, Melanie Gray and Bryan Hurt read over pamphlets at Auburn University’s booth at Michael Johnson Foundation expo at Wallace Community College Selma on Friday. --Emily Enfinger

Ryan Hurt, Melanie Gray and Bryan Hurt read over pamphlets at Auburn University’s booth at Michael Johnson Foundation expo at Wallace Community College Selma on Friday. –Emily Enfinger

High school and college students spent Friday morning at Wallace Community College Selma for an opportunity that could impact their future professional careers. A career expo was provided by the Michael Johnson Foundation to give students a chance to network and discover future possibilities.

“They may spark an interest in something that will spur you on to bigger and better things in life,” said Cincinnati Bengals defensive end and foundation founder Michael Johnson. “We’ve got a lot of different people here from different backgrounds that are available for information.”

The expo included various schools and businesses such as Auburn University, the University of West Alabama, Honda Lock, International Paper, Jacksonville State University and others.

“It’s amazing. For him to take time out of his day and his career what he does to give back to his community and where he came from is a really amazing thing to do,” said Southside High School student Zy’Shawn James.

Dallas County High School student Logan Damoth is planning to study nursing in college and said the expo was helpful in comparing programs.

“I think it’s great for kids to come to because it’s a free opportunity for them to meet with different colleges and they get opportunities they might not have,” Damoth said.

Johnson said the attendance wasn’t what he had hoped for, but is thankful for those who were able to make it.

He hopes attendance for future events is greater to make the effort more worthwhile.

“We have a lot of different things going on in the community that we are trying to do better as a community, as people. One of the things I thinks helps is providing opportunities for kids and doing stuff like this,” Johnson said. “When we do things, we need [students and faculty] to participate so we can continue to do things and so it’s worth putting on.”

Johnson said being able to provide services and opportunities for the community that raised him is a special thing.

“This is where I’m from. I know the landscape. This is what raised me, what made me. I’ve always looked at it, If I made it, we all made it. So every opportunity that I come in contact with, I want to be able to share it with others,” Johnson said. “I want them to be able to dream big, believe big, achieve big and this is part of that.”