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Last updated: 2009
Through adversity Tyree Johnson has developed invaluable qualities of character worthy of recognition. Tyree and his sister are products of a drug-addicted mother and an aunt unable to raise them together after removing them from foster care. Exhibiting behavioral problems at the age of 12, Tyree was put in a new foster care setting with the warning that the next stop would be a group home. Having never taken that next step, Tyree spent the past six years in three different foster homes.
Every morning at 4 a.m., Tyree wakes up and prepares for his day: a 2-1⁄2 hour bus ride to Santa Monica, a full day at New Roads High School, after-school tutoring, volunteering at OPCC homeless drop-in center or serving as a peer mentor for LGBTQ youths at Lifeworks, and then a long bus ride of writing and decompressing while traveling home after dark. Entering New Roads High School as a 9th grader was indeed the “new road” that redirected Tyree toward reaching his potential. He attributes his academic and behavioral improvement to the unwavering support of his teachers and their desire to see him succeed. In turn, he has reciprocated by “helping anyone that needs it” and acknowledges that he “now knows the power of giving.” Tyree’s strength of character and high personal standards are repeatedly praised by his teachers. In a true testament to his impact on others, one teacher professes, “I feel proud every time I see him walking across campus.” He is active in Student Council, founded the business club at New Roads, and interned at a fashion public relations firm this past summer. All of these experiences will help pave the way for Tyree’s college and career aspirations. For this, we applaud Tyree Johnson for his courage and determination and recognize him as a 2009 Los Angeles Beat the Odds award recipient.
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