Justice, wearing a red TSTC sweater sits on a beige couch with a plant and pillow next to her.

(ROSENBERG, Texas) – There is a lot to learn from those who came before.

Justice Johnson, the Counseling and Mental Health Services counselor for Texas State Technical College’s Fort Bend County campus, finds that much of her strength comes from her knowledge of her ancestors.

“My family inspires me,” Johnson said. “My family is deeply intrigued by black history. It is a core thing we pass down from generation to generation.”

Originally from State Line, Mississippi, Johnson learned of those who preceded her from her grandparents. Those same grandparents started a tradition of hosting a large community event every February in her home county to honor their heritage.

“We have people in our history who are innovators, instructors, engineers,” Johnson said. “If you don’t know where you come from, you don’t know where you are going to go.”

Having worked in college housing for seven years prior to coming to TSTC, Johnson knew that working with college students was her calling. After earning her degree in counseling, she set out looking for a job that would allow her to use her unique skills.

TSTC offered a way to do just that with the group of people she wanted to serve most.

“I hope to inspire others to do what they want to do,” Johnson said. “To shoot for whatever makes them happy and not put themselves in a box. I hope when people see me they can know they can be what they want to be.”

Each day she finds ways to help others deal with their stresses and challenges. She believes that a “prevention-first” approach to mental health can go a long way toward solving some of the challenges that college students often face.

“I think it starts with self-awareness,” Johnson said. “Spend some time to figure out what you need help with. Maybe it isn’t any current issues, but taking preventative measures.”

Mental health is about finding faith and confidence in yourself, she finds. For her, that comes from her family and their history. She hopes to help others find where it comes from for them.

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

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