Rodney Johnson's story illustrates the power of community

Our president, David Bailey submitted the following to the Asheville Citizen-Times Report Card

An A to the recent MLK Breakfast and specifically the remarks of their keynote speaker: Rodney Johnson. Johnson gave a personal and poignant talk about growing up in Asheville - opening the curtains to the challenges and uniqueness of being an African-American living in Asheville in the 1950s through the early 1980s.

His was a journey of success. His anecdotes and descriptions of the folks who helped him get through his early years then middle school and high school and off to Mars Hill College were heartwarming and heartfelt. It spoke of the power and impact of family, neighbors, pastors, teachers, coaches and principals – an amazing array of individuals who after hearing his story, one would think their sole purpose was to ensure Rodney succeeded. Each of us understands the need for caring adults to put and keep us on the right trajectory as we grow and face barriers. United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, through our Middle School Success initiative and in partnership with Asheville Buncombe Middle Grades Network, has launched the Who Got You Through campaign.

We applaud the organizers of the MLK breakfast for selecting Rodney Johnson as the speaker and ask the community to explore our website to find out how you can be a part of the success of the youth of our community who need another caring adult to help move them to success.

David D. Bailey, Asheville