May 2008, Volume 12, Number 5

College Notebook

The Courage to Start Fresh

Michael L. Johnson

For Michael L. Johnson, who was in the final stages of alcoholism and homelessness, enrolling in Miami Dade College was a first in many steps he took toward a better life.

This year, he will graduate top of his class with a 3.95 GPA and an associate degree in mathematics. Though he is not a student in The Honors College, Johnson graduates with honors from Homestead Campus.

Johnson, now 30, had an epiphany two years ago at a detoxification clinic in Jackson Hospital. He found help in New Hope CORPS, a rehabilitation center located in Homestead, where he still lives and manages the after care program.

When he entered MDC’s Homestead Campus, Johnson set a goal to earn nothing less than an “A” in every course he took.

“It was a challenge,” Johnson said. “My main goal was making an impact on my way through and representing myself in a true sense.”

Today, Johnson is president of Phi Beta Kappa undergraduate honor society, a member of Pi Mu Epsilon mathematics honor society and was named to the All-Florida Academic Team. He also enjoys public speaking, sharing his experience at schools and rehabilitation centers across the county.

Johnson aspires to obtaining a doctorate in psychology. He has applied to Harvard, Tulane, the University of South Florida, New York University and Cornerstone University, a Christian school in Grand Rapids, Mich.

“As long as God is there, I can do it,” he said.

— Sue Arrowsmith


More College Notebook Articles


Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or genetic information. Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs/ADA Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for information.