Esha Johnson is the Founder of Youth 4 Excellence CIC who established the Annual Celebrating Youth Excellence Awards. After five successful years, the C.Y.E Awards has certainly made its mark across the West Midlands – labelled ‘an inspiring occasion’ by Lloyds Bank.
In 2013, Ms Johnson was crowned ‘Super Mum Of The Year’ by The Voice and was shortlisted for the City&Style Women Of The Year Awards’ ‘Most Outstanding Contribution To Social Change’ and ‘Most Inspirational Woman Of The Year’ awards.
I was born in Jamaica and came over to England when I was eight years old; my first thoughts were that it was very cold, dismal, and dreary. I came over to live with my parents who I barely knew and met my two younger siblings for the first time. My parents were very strict, so I never developed any personal attachment to them. However, I enjoyed school because it meant that I could escape from home. When I first started school, I couldn’t read properly so this was a real struggle, but my favourite subject was English which helped me to develop my knowledge of words, and propelled me into my love of writing poetry.
Ambitions and achievements
As a young child I was told that I was worthless, useless, and good for nothing; this stunted my belief that I could achieve anything in life. In recent years, I have managed to overcome this by empowering my own children and watching them excel. I have used my children as a catalyst to launch my own self-worth; hence, my achievements of now being a Professional Counsellor in Child Sexual Abuse, Play Specialist, and Author of my debut book ‘My Lover, My King & I’. Overall, my main ambition in life is to empower as many children and young people to believe in themselves and for them to know that anything they choose to do is achievable.
‘I have used my children as a catalyst to launch my own self-worth; hence, my achievements of now being a trained Counsellor in Child Sexual Abuse, Play Specialist, and Author of my debut book ‘My Lover, My King & I’.’
Test and trials
The overall test for me has been learning how to overcome fear of failure and moving forward from my childhood. I am now challenging myself to take risks and try new things including starting Youth 4 Excellence CIC. This by far one was one of the biggest risks I have taken, normally I only ever dream of the things I can do, but it has been fulfilling to turn my passion into a reality.
I am looking forward to further development of the Celebrating Youth Excellence Awards, as it is now solely run by young people. My dream is to have a safe house for young people as well as publish two more books. I still love writing poetry and would like to continue in using this as a tool to inspire the community and encourage others to express their thoughts through pen and paper. I currently run a monthly session in my own home called ‘Real Talk In The House’ where I cover everyday topics with a group of young people who need a platform to voice how they really feel. My home will always be a safe place of counsel and restoration and I hope to continue in helping young people who are in need of emotional support and encourage them to move forward in life.