In a Mother’s Day video tribute by the Pennsylvania State University football team, Theo Johnson recalls the day his mother learned she had won admission to the University of Windsor law school.
A single mother raising six sons, Amy Johnson (JD 2015) had been turned down elsewhere. Now Theo had collected an official-looking letter from the family’s mailbox.
“We kind of all huddled up in the living room, opened the letter up, my mom read it,” he says. “We all celebrated and cried together and laughed together. And we kind of knew at that point that our life had changed forever.”
Theo Johnson is a sophomore tight end for the Nittany Lions. The team calls its video a “must-watch story of strength and perseverance.”
The family had struggled and at times found itself unhoused. Amy Johnson decided she needed to further her education to improve the situation for her kids.
“I wanted to be able to have a job where I was going to be making better than minimum wage and was going to be able to provide for them properly,” she says.
After completing undergraduate studies in social work, she was determined to pursue a legal career. She is now a family law litigator.
“I found a law school who said: ‘come on, you’re going to be great’ and they welcomed me with my six kids,” she says.
Dean of law Reem Bahdi says the faculty was impressed from the day the family first walked into its building.
“I have vivid images of the kids sitting in the back row of the Moot Court, colouring while classes or events went on around them,” she says. “She and her children continue to inspire us to strive to do our best regardless of the challenges before us.”