Attending college was something Kira Johnson never thought she would experience. At the age of 17, she was told her family had no resources available to assist her in getting a college education. With no other options, Johnson did the only thing she knew to do—enter the workforce and never look back.
“During high school, I was already working full time at my local job,” said Johnson. “I’d leave school early per a work study program that was offered, get on the bus and work until about 11 p.m. My pace of work has typically been so strenuous, but I enjoy working hard and providing for those I care for.”
It was the same work ethic that led her to an interest in entrepreneurship and a desire to major in business. Johnson says that her entrepreneurial leanings, coupled with her true passion, would be the two major attributes that would take her one step closer to earning a degree and career.
“Most importantly, my passion is people. When I see people succeed, I feel like I have played my part. I particularly love watching people exceed their own imaginations.”
A combination of Johnson’s passion, career pursuit and work ethic led her to be this year’s recipient of the Columbia Southern Education Group Reach Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded annually to one Delta Air Lines employee and covers up to up to 60 semester hours in one online degree program at either Columbia Southern University or Waldorf University. Johnson, a lead customer experience supervisor at Delta, says it is an honor to have her employees trust her as she supports them in their own career goals.
“Finding innovative ways of helping them succeed has truly been an amazing privilege,” said Johnson. “I try to exude patience with my people because I have been where they are. So far, they seem to appreciate that. As a business major, my goal is to lead many of my own someday soon.”
With this scholarship, Johnson is able to do the very thing she thought she would never get the chance to do—get a college education. In doing so, she plans to pursue a bachelor’s in business administration concentrating in international management with CSU.
“At the end of five years, my goal is to have fully graduated college, successfully transitioned into upper leadership in my current company and all while giving back to my community.”
To learn more about the CSEG Reach Scholarship, visit CSEG.com/Scholarships.