Celebrating the Woman Next Door: Susan Johnson

This month, in partnership with AdventHealth for Women, we’re recognizing some of the women in our community who are selflessly giving to others while raising families, supporting their loved ones and/or building their careers. Whether they know it or not, their stories inspire other women near and far.

Meet Susan Johnson

Susan Johnson of Winter Park, is the Founder & President of Support Our Scholars (SOS). Established in 2006, SOS is an organization committed to educating the most brilliant young women with the greatest financial need. Remaining a strong advocate for blind multi-handicap individuals, she also founded Jake Allen Center and Jake Allen Pre-school for the deaf and blind. Susan has served on the Board of Governors at The Helen Keller National Center; Chairman of the Board at Lighthouse Central Florida and Board Member of The Florida Hospital CHIC Board and more. For her efforts, Susan received the Walt Disney Community Service Award (two years) and Sertoman of the Year Award which recognizes exceptional contributions in the spirit of service to mankind. 

What is your WHY?

Why am I here ? To serve … I realized long ago that we are the happiest in life if we are serving others. I have found this to be true in the deepest sense in my life. 

On your toughest of days, what motivates you to put one foot in front of the other?

I know that my life is the hand of the God who created the universe, so I can look to Him and keep going. Often I have to stop and write down all the things that have been given to me. The list is always so long that then..how can I be discouraged ?My work motivation is to see the Scholars we support, seeing them succeed at the highest level. Seeing them develop into amazing thankful young women. What could be more fulfilling in life?

Have you drawn inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone who has inspired you.

Ohhh yes… I used to always think about Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller. How together these two women dedicated to each other changed our outlook on disabilities. Corrie ten Boom and her ability to survive and forgive. What an example, especially now in war times.

What is the one word that perfectly explains who you are?

Content.

Would you change anything about how you have handled challenges or successes thus far in your life?

Ohh gosh yes, I would have slowed down as a parent. I would have spent more time in the present and not looking ahead to the next big thing.

What are you most proud of?

The Scholarship and my children.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced and what did you learn from it?

My first child was born both deaf and blind. Jake taught me everything. How to appreciate music, speech, the ability to see a sunset. I could go on for hours on this.

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