Lindsay Johnson - Service
At some point in life, every little girl dreams of being a princess. Whether the desire comes while watching a cartoon movie at the age of six or if it prevails momentarily while planning a dream wedding, many would agree that fantasies of indulgence and grandeur are quite likely to commence.
With that in mind, Lindsay Johnson turns the dream of royalty into expectations of reality for as many girls as she can. Since many will never become actual members of the high court, Johnson is duty bound to making young girls feel as (if not more) valuable, intelligent and genuine as a true-to-life Cinderella.
Johnson, a senior double major in elementary education and biology, is the founder and president of Princess Pals Incorporated.
Since 2010, Princess Pals Inc., which was established as a non-profit organization the following year, has served girls in grades 3-5 through workshops that develop character and leadership as well as encourage scholarly achievements and service projects.
“The idea came to me when I was working on my senior exit project,” said Johnson, who was a junior in high school at that time. “We were required to find a community mentor in the field of work we desired to enter and shadow them,” she said.
After scouring her community for a mentor, Johnson was given the opportunity to shadow an elementary school principal. Although she was gaining a surplus of knowledge and information about the realm of elementary education, there was a gloomy thread that penetrated the expected cheeriness of the youth’s learning environment.
“While shadowing the principal and interacting with the girls, I noticed that they lacked confidence and self-esteem,” said Johnson, who was instantly saddened by what she saw.
“I wanted to make a positive impact on the lives of the little girls at that elementary school,” she said.
Johnson has been able to get women from over six universities, including North Carolina A&T State University, to mentor and train the high school mentors that work directly with the princesses. The mentors travel to schools every year to inspire and encourage excellence and positive self-esteem in young girls in the community.
“The most valuable thing about helping others,” she said, “is that people who are served with love serve others with love.”
It is Johnson’s hope to continue a cycle of servant hood. In addition to being a full-time student and owner and president of a non-profit organization, she also works with the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Program.
In the future she plans to earn a master’s degree in educational policy, become an elementary school teacher and eventually put her educational policy degree into use in a small school district or with the U.S. Department of Education.
As she continues her journey influencing the lives of young girls she knows that “service can be continued with one act of genuine and wholehearted kindness and that is enough to validate what I seek to do,” she said.