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Social Worker Spotlight McKenna Johnson

Anastasia Price (Interviewer): What personal experiences would you say has most equipped you to be a Social Worker?

McKenna Johnson, LBSW: “God has put me through many different challenges to prepare me to become a Social Worker. I was married and had my first child by age 20, I lost my father suddenly at 22, and I became a divorced single mom by 23. I’ve struggled with health issues, finances, and legal issues (child support issues) the entirety of my 20’s. The more I struggle, the more I feel equipped to be a Social Worker because I can teach from my own experiences. Because of my struggles, I know how to apply for food stamps, I know where to go for certain financial and legal situations, I know how to be successful in the face of adversity.”

Anastasia Price (Interviewer): What led you to choose your particular job field?

McKenna Johnson, LBSW: “It began with a passion for working with children. I volunteered at day care centers and looked into becoming a teacher. I was in my final semester at Collin County Community College… and had been accepted to UNT to begin my path to become an art teacher when my government class assigned us to complete 20 hours of service learning. My professor provided a list of suggested agencies and one of them was Friends of the Family in Corinth. They needed people to work in the day care. I went to orientation training and I fell in love. I heard about everything the agency did, everyone they helped, how they helped, etc. I asked the girl running the orientation what she got her degree in because I wanted to do work like this. Orientation at UNT was a few weeks later and I changed my major DURING orientation. When they called out the social work majors to go to a certain room, that’s where I went. Taking intro to social work at UNT just solidified my passion for social work.”

Anastasia Price (Interviewer): What issues are most important to you in the population you work with?

McKenna Johnson, LBSW: “80% of people who are rescued from human trafficking were once in foster care. Providing the support, I can to prevent this from happening is the most important thing I can do working with this population.”

Anastasia Price (Interviewer): If there was one thing you could change to better assist the individuals you work with, what would that be? 

McKenna Johnson, LBSW: “Decreasing the amount of employee turnover in the foster care system to provide more stable services to the clients they serve.”

Anastasia Price (Interviewer): Why should clients want to work with you?

McKenna Johnson, LBSW: “God has given me the spiritual gift of mercy and because of that, I have the ability to identify with and comfort those who are in distress. I am a loving person and I pour love into those around me.”

Anastasia Price (Interviewer): What is your favorite thing about being a Social Worker?

McKenna Johnson, LBSW: “Seeing the resiliency of my clients. Some of my clients have shared their stories with me and I am always blown away with how much they have had to overcome. They are an inspiration and have the power to move mountains.”

Anastasia Price (Interviewer): What challenges have you faced in your field?

McKenna Johnson, LBSW: “I have a big heart that I keep unguarded. This is something I struggle with in my personal life too. But through God, I am learning how to put up loving boundaries.”

Anastasia Price (Interviewer): What advice would you give to someone who is pursuing a career as a Social Worker?

McKenna Johnson, LBSW: “Volunteer in as many different agencies as you can and get involved in your community. [By volunteering] You get to practice working with different populations and learn new perspectives on issues in the community. Social work is a networking career and the sooner you start building relationships with agencies you will someday refer clients to, the better!”

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