Brought up in group homes and foster care from the age of 8-12, Johnson soon found himself homeless. At the age of 15, he landed in the Department of Juvenile Justice. With no one to turn to, Johnson turned to poetry and boxing. He obtained his GED by the age of 16 and continued on to Benedict College following. Using poetry and boxing as an outlet throughout his growing up, Johnson had a burning desire to support the next generation. Johnson is a certified USA Boxing coach: 13 year old Silver glove Champion and 15 year old Golden Glove Champion. Speak Freely was a way Johnson could reach the kids who were destined to follow in his footsteps if not intercepted. Johnson works with kids to help work through their issues by incorporating poetry and boxing into their everyday routines.
The Speak Freely Foundation is a non-profit program focused on a practical curriculm through performing arts to help stimulate positivity in our youths, and give creative directions since its inception in 2007 in North Charleston, SC.
Our programs introduce a ways to not only keep chldren and teens away from the unhealthy temptations in their communities, and give them an opportunity to discover their potential and tap into their creative abilities. We teach them structure and balance, while instill confidence and self esteem in them. Stronger children, leads to more leaders, more leaders lead to better communities!
Teen violence is an increasing concern in communities, and comes in various forms. It has long lasting effects on victims, perpetrators, and their families. Most teens involved in this type of behavior have not learned a healtier way to cope with their emotions, people, and the problems in their life.