As a child and throughout his adult years, Larry Johnson struggled with being shy and introverted. After his NFL career, he faced more challenges as he was figuring out how to transition into life after football, in the corporate world. With time, and the birth of his daughter, Johnson sought the necessary assistance to be honest with himself and face his demons. Thanks to friends and community leaders surrounding him, he’s found a new passion to help those who feel lost, mainly youth.
“If I can just help one child overcome that feeling of feeling lost and out of place, then I have successfully made a transition from football to philanthropy work.” Johnson said.
So Johnson is setting out to make a difference in the lives of youth through the arts at the Motivational Edge, a program that dovetails with Johnson’s goal of helping youth achieve academically and be more confident.
As the first chairman of the Edge Ambassadors initiative, Johnson will have an opportunity to utilize the relationships built throughout his NFL career. He is hoping that this platform will allow him to recruit new ambassadors and supporters of the organization, generating awareness and funding that will sustain arts and academic programs for youth in foster homes, group homes, juvenile detention centers and some of Florida’s most under-resourced communities.
What draws Johnson to the organization is the way in which The Motivational Edge works with struggling and often times neglected youth trying to find their voice and individual path to success. He can also relate to the dedication and commitment displayed by each teaching artist.
"I am a man with an unforgiving past who is just trying to share his struggles and successes in life to hopefully influence a child's future. If the dreams of our youth are lost, we all lose. Supporting children is supporting our future to ensure they find a positive path to grow," Johnson said.