Johnson, Director of Summit 21st Century Community Learning Center in Summit, South Dakota, is pursuing a master's in social work at USD and anticipates graduating in May 2020. She considers being honored by NAA as one of her most significant accomplishments.
"I want to thank the NAA community for acknowledging those of us in the afterschool world who put forth our best effort to make an impact on our students and communities," said Johnson, who was nominated for NAA recognition by the South Dakota State Affiliate, SoDakSACCA.
"I have many reasons why I feel beyond grateful to have been selected as one of the 2019 NAA Next Generation of AfterSchool Leaders. Still, one that stands out the most is the ability to put rural education—specifically South Dakota—on the map for having quality programs."
More often than not, Johnson added, South Dakota has a population that goes unrecognized on a national level.
"I intend to leverage my voice to advocate for rural America and the need for afterschool programs. Also, I hope to ensure the communities I serve will produce healthy youth long after I am gone."
Adding to her accomplishments and opportunities to engage with her community, Johnson was also recently asked to join the South Dakota Statewide Family Engagement Center (SFEC) Committee.
Get to know Dawn Marie Johnson further by reading her USD Alumni Spotlight in its entirety.
Courtesy of NAA.
Photo courtesy of Dawn Marie Johnson.