James Johnson Jr.
James Johnson, Jr. graduated from Western with an Associate of Arts in 1978, played on the first Pioneer basketball team under Coach Robert McPherson and was named Mr. WOSC 1978. Johnson completed his education with a Bachelor of Arts from Cameron University in 1980 and a Master of Social Work from The University of Oklahoma in 1987.
Johnson's distinguished career began in 1980 as a social worker at the Lawton Boy's Group Home. Since then he has held various leadership positions in his field, working with troubled youth at the Juvenile Services Unit in Lawton, the Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center in Tecumseh, and the Office of Juvenile Affairs in Oklahoma City. Today, he serves as the Executive Director of Juvenile Justice Residential Services at Community Works, LLC in Norman.
Career highlights include the creation of STAND, Striving Toward Adulthood and New Directions, the first independant living program for at-risk teens in Oklahoma, and a school based program in a residential setting designed to help at-risk teens achieve scholastic success by meeting their specific academic needs.
Johnson's work with troubled young people began during his high school years with a program called Teen Involvement. James was also a Big Brother , and worked with troubled youth with an outreach program through his church, Central Baptist, in Lawton. James says, "It's a calling and a love of mine. I'm fortunate that I can make a living doing what I love." His work and life philosophy are embodied by a quote from Forest E. Witcraft (1894-1967): "A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be a different because I was important in the life of a child."
James lives in Oklahoma City with his wife of twenty-five years, Vivien. They have two sons, Jarred and Jalin. James served on the WOSC Alumni Board from 1990-2001 and is a past board president.