Success stories can take on a variety of forms since every individual’s triumph is relative to their ability to overcome specific obstacles in their lives. In the course of my career as a professor, I have been privileged to witness numerous students overcome hardship that seemed unsurmountable and go on to truly amazing and triumphant successes.
Leah Johnson is a student whom I met in my Introductory to Paralegal Course. She was quiet, but always seemed to have that future law student edge. Leah was always attentive and curious about the application of the law. I saw her a few times after graduation and then more once she joined our newly developed alumni association. Her father died as a result of COVID-19, because he lived in an area of the Bronx that was ravaged by the pandemic, due to lack of resources. Leah took her father’s death very hard given the extreme closeness of their relationship. Because of the impact to her, as well as her neighborhood, she reached out to her congressperson and discussed the lack of resources in her community. As a result, her congressperson set up a COVID-19 site in her neighborhood and Leah was part of the ribbon cutting ceremony. Leah graduated from John Jay this past semester and is currently waiting to start law school in the Spring of 2021.
In my mind Ms. Johnson is a woman who personifies the combination of perserverance with a high-quality legal education. Her story emulates the excellence required of a paralegal by the American Bar Association.
-Submitted by Nikole Knight, Program Director, Paralegal/Legal Studies Program, Bronx Community College