Episode 36: Prepare for the Shifts in Your Plans featuring Sam K. Johnson
Sam Johnson was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington and spent her childhood exploring and kayaking along the Puget Sound. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and minor in Chemistry from the University of Portland where she fostered her love of all artisanal ice cream and baked goods Oregon had to offer. She then did a year of post-graduate service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps NQ/AmeriCorps where she was placed with the American Red Cross of Alaska and served as the Preparedness and Casework Specialist. This was her first introduction into disaster response and preparedness education, working with and supporting various local and Alaska Native communities across the state. After a year of convincing herself there was no way should could make a career out of educating people on how to stay safe during emergencies, she moved to New Orleans and received her Master of Science from Tulane University in Disaster Resilience Leadership. She then began working with the American Red Cross of the US Virgin Islands, supporting their preparedness education programs as part of their Long Term Recovery efforts from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. She is now the Program Lead for Youth Preparedness for National Headquarters, supporting regions across the country as they implement youth emergency preparedness programs across the country and abroad. In this episode Sam gives us a much needed dose of joy and inspiration. We hear about her journey to service and more specifically her career soul-matching of sorts at the American Red Cross. Though a career in service was not what she planned, Sam shares the literal and metaphorical message behind "must be able to fly in small planes". If you have a fear of heights like me, you'll feel more at ease with Sam's insight. Sam also speaks to the ways she has been able to navigate racial ambiguity in building relationships with community members; ultimately leveraging preparedness education as a community engagement tool. Additionally, we hear her perspective on the power of representation in the sector. Inspired by Gail McGovern's pillars of leadership, Sam reminds us that should prepare as best as we can and embrace change in our growth. We close out the year embracing our respective and collective lessons learned and course correcting as necessary as we share Forward 4O’s platform with this phenomenal WOC in the nonprofit and social enterprise sector. Stay connected with Sam on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter . Follow Forward 40(4tea) on IG and Twitter @forward4tea. Continue to support and nominate a guest to be on the show. You can also learn more about the host Coach Faith here.