FOSSI | Meet Rachel Johnson: 2022 FOSSI Scholar Attending Howard University

Meet Rachel Johnson: 2022 FOSSI Scholar Attending Howard University

January 10, 2023

FOSSI: Tell us a bit about yourself. 

I have lived in Delaware my entire life and I have an amazing support system of family and friends who have gifted me with a legacy of service, compassion, and integrity. A quote often used in my household is, “Create your own path for the future you want to see yourself in.” For years, I have been exceedingly active in the organization, Jack and Jill of America, an organization dedicated to nurturing young leaders of color. Through this organization, I developed a passion for volunteering. This new passion helped me focus not on what I couldn't do, but on what I could do for those around me and how I could make an impact. The volunteer opportunities I have experienced over the last 13 years impacted my character, leadership skills, and desire for helping others.  At the Jack and Jill Eastern regional teen conference, I was recently awarded the Carol Robertson Award, the highest award for volunteer service.

While being heavily involved in my community I have also always been active in sports. Throughout my childhood I have participated in gymnastics, dance, swim team, cheerleading, and soccer. This taught me the importance of being active which I will carry on for the rest of my life. A value of mine which I find important is diversity. Being surrounded by multiple cultures is important for an individual's growth. I was a founding member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion club at my school. My hope is for us as a society to start promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

FOSSI: Who is a role model that has influenced you?

Patricia Bath is a very iconic figure I look up to. Mrs. Bath's interests were in science and health. She graduated from Howard University with honors in 1974 and went on to become the first woman ophthalmologist appointed to the faculty of the University of California, and the first woman chair of an ophthalmology residency program in the United States. She was truly an inspiration.

Mrs. Bath once said “my love of humanity and passion for helping others inspired me to become a physician”. This quote speaks to me because my passion for volunteering pushes me not only to help others but gives me the opportunity to build new skills and give back to my community. Her accomplishments have blazed a path for young women of color like myself to strive towards their goals. For me, it helped me realize that my only limits are the ones I place on myself. 

FOSSI: Share a few fun facts about yourself.

  • I have always had a love for science and was always involved in science fairs and experiments throughout my middle and high school days.
  • I enjoy being active which include doing sports like soccer and cheerleading.
  • Some hobbies of mine include ceramics, painting, gardening and cooking.
  • I love experiencing new things and value and support initiatives that are beneficial to the preservation of the environment.