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Rhodes First-Year Student Has a Heart for Africa

Publication Date: 10/3/2012

Like many students at Rhodes, first-year student Jessica Johnson has a heart for service. This summer prior to coming to Rhodes, she spent eight weeks distributing shoes and food to children in the African kingdom of Swaziland. She made the trip as part of Heart for Africa, a non-profit, faith based organization in the Atlanta, Ga. area from where Johnson hails. Her hometown newspaper even featured her in a story.

Working with the mass¬†TOMS shoe distribution in Swaziland, Johnson saw firsthand the importance of the effort because she says some children don’t have shoes and have to travel long distances daily for food, water, school, and church.

Just having joined the Rhodes community, Johnson says she is looking for ways to be involved on campus and in the Memphis community. Currently, she is an overnight host for admissions, involved in Relay for Life, and the Black Student Association, and she plans to become a middle school math tutor at a school near Rhodes.

“I am still very involved with Heart for Africa and am planning to go back,” adds Johnson. “As a general goal, I want to work in Swaziland or another African nation and do work with public health and HIV/AIDS prevention.”


Here Johnson sizes and fits a recipient for shoe distribution.

Tags: Service, Students


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Edna Morgan October 22, 2012

I am so very proud of you at such a young age giving back to the people of Africa. Your work is to be commended. It is my prayer that your service to others will mushroom all over the city of Memphis. Praying for your academic success and that your goals to work in public service will come to fruition. God bless you today and always.

Consuela Carter October 6, 2012

I am incredibly proud of you!!! Amazing work and story!!!

Toni Thompson October 4, 2012

Jessica is doing wonderfully. What an incredible young lady. We are so proud of her! God Bless.

Brooke Weinmann October 3, 2012

What a wonderful article about Jessica. I′m sure her parents and her alma mater, Atlanta Girls′ School, are proud of her!