Never give up on greatness


BY Dexter McCree, Feature Writer

ST. PETERSBURG – No matter what obstacles you face, your greatness is not regulated by your circumstances but by your drive, determination and dedication to succeed. This is something that Tameika Johnson knows well.

After a long, transformational journey, Johnson has triumphed, graduating from St. Petersburg College with an Associate of Arts Degree despite all the odds against her.

Johnson did well during her high school years; however, circumstances would cause her to slightly alter her life’s course.  It’s a journey, and it’s just life.

During her sophomore year of high school, she dropped out to have her first child. Motivated by her new arrival, she allowed her bundle of joy to fuel her to continue to achieve her goals.

Determined to complete her education, Johnson enrolled in vocational school, earned her GED and went on to obtain her Home Health Aide certificate. She began working in the field almost immediately.

While life seemed to be progressing, things took a turn for the worst in her early 20s. What she would experience would serve as a wake-up call and one of the most transformative lessons in her life.

“I was charged with a felony, and I lost out on a lot of opportunities,” said Johnson. “My family’s life was disrupted and I knew then that I needed and wanted to change my life.”

Despite her circumstances, education remained a priority. Though many years had passed and more children were born, she never lost sight of her desire to earn a degree.

“My children were getting older, and I wanted to be a role model for them because I know education is important,” explained Johnson. “I walked into the St. Pete College Midtown Keene Center, and my college journey began.”

However, life became overwhelming midway through her college journey and she almost gave up everything that she had worked so hard for. Surrounded by people who also recognized her greatness, help was on the way just when it all seemed to be falling apart.

“I wanted to walk away from everything, but Professor Ian Wilson stepped in and sought assistance for me because he saw my potential,” Johnson revealed. “Through SPC’s BayCare counseling, I was able to get the help I needed to continue my journey.”

“Tameika’s drive is the exact force needed to fulfill her destiny,” stated Wilson.

He was right. It’s Johnson’s drive that has allowed her to raise a family and persevere despite financial issues, setbacks and disabilities while in college. She conquered with all odds against her, and Wilson wasn’t the only one to notice.

“Tameika’s confidence and determination have led her to many successes,” said Lisa M. Gould, SPC accessibility coordinator. “Future triumphs are inevitable for her!”

After Johnson earns her bachelor’s degree in business administration, she plans to work within the City of St. Pete Social Services.

As she continues on her journey, she reminds herself to never take no for an answer. Johnson is a role model to her kids and those who have been through similar situations.

It’s noteworthy that when you strive for greatness and never let life’s hurdles get in the way, you will achieve everything you set your mind to– and then some.

Jah’tia Haynes contributed to this story.

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