Senior Feature: Ishmael Johnson

Gabriella Servello, News Editor

Ishmael Johnson, Sociology major and Philosophy/Russian minor, worked hard to get accepted at Saint Anselm College. This Saturday, May 18, Johnson will be graduating alongside his classmates of four years.

Johnson is a Dorchester, Massachusetts native who attended Boston Latin Academy from grades 7 to 11. This prestigious academy was ranked second in the state.

During his junior year at the academy, Johnson underwent 3 surgeries – 2 on his hip and 1 on his knee. The recovery period for these surgeries forced Johnson to miss almost 4 months of school. Although Johnson’s family had requested an at-home tutor in October, the school only provided one in March of the following year. By this point, Johnson was far behind in his academics.

Johnson dropped out of Boston Latin Academy at the end of his junior year, proceeding to take SAT prep courses from Sylvan Learning Center and to receive his GED in November.

Saint Anselm College appealed to Johnson because it was a small, tight-knit community in comparison to state schools with close to 45,000 students. Unfortunately, Johnson was unable to take the GED in time to get accepted at the college so he spent his first semester at Quincy Community College, and then transferred to Saint A’s his second semester.

Johnson believes there are two factors that influenced his acceptance at Saint A’s. First, he received a perfect score on the writing section of his GED and second, he made a good impression during his interview with the Admissions Office.

During his time here Johnson enrolled in many difficult courses to challenge himself, including Russian. Since he had already taken Chinese and Japanese in high school, Johnson wanted to learn a new language in addition to the three he already knew.

Reflecting on his four years at the college Johnson says, “They mean a lot to me now; I’ve gained people, experiences, and values that will never be forgotten and are due entirely to this school.”

While Johnson enjoyed every part of his college experience, the highlight of his career was studying abroad in Russia during the fall 2012 semester.  Johnson greatly encourages all Anselmians to do so, since it is a great opportunity for the same price as, if not cheaper than, a semester on campus.

Johnson’s long-term goal is to become a college professor, although he has many plans before attending graduate school. In the upcoming months, Johnson wants to become certified in the program Teaching English as a Foreign Language. With this certificate, he hopes to travel to another country, ideally Russia, to work with people interested in learning English. If he ends up working here, Johnson would like to attend graduate school in Russia.

Although he has a bright future ahead of him, Johnson says that he will miss the atmosphere at Saint Anselm College created by the monks.