Sterling Johnson — a soft-spoken football player — says he came into his own while a student at T.C. Williams and credits his coaches and counselor, Stacy Morris, for helping him graduate. He will be attending Virginia University of Lynchburg where he’ll play football and study design and business. Sterling wants to become a clothing designer, focusing on trendier styles for larger guys like himself. Listen to his story.
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(SM) So, I would never think that a football player that’s six-feet-four … Do you mind if I say or ask you what you’re weight is? You don’t have to say it.
(SJ) Three hundred and fifty on a good day.
(SM) And you would like to design clothes. You know that’s amazing.
(SM) So do you think you’re going to study some design in college?
(SJ) Yeah. I want to get into the business aspect.
(SM) Do you think your sports … getting into college, is gonna be an opportunity for you to be able to do some of those great things?
(SJ) Yeah. This helps me get to know people and build my character more as a person.
(SM) Have you thought about the kinds of clothing that you want to design for yourself? Is it formal wear, is it casual wear?
(SJ) It’s kind of like an urban type. Like the stores that I shop at, they don’t really have like clothes for like my age group in my size, you know. Like once you … when you think about clothes for teenagers nowadays … they’re kind of like skinny … and tight.
(SM) Yeah! Okay, and that’s not for you. No. Not at 6’4″! So, after VUL … transfer to … ? You got a dream school?
(SJ) All of the schools that I really wanted to go to were because of sports.
(SM) Oh! So now that you’re pursuing your design and business, you can go anywhere you want to go.
(SJ) Oh, yeah.
(SJ) The first time I met Ms. Morris, I wanted to get my schedule changed … because I don’t usually get into trouble or nothing like that. I come in, and she’s says “Welcome!” She was just nice from the get-go.
(SM) We had to do quite a few changes with your schedule. Yeah? Right?
(SM) So we went from debate, then we got you into your graphic design class, and didn’t we do a career building class too?
(SJ) I think so.
(SM) When you think of T.C. Williams, you think about graduation. It’s coming up. It’s an exciting time. What does T.C. Williams mean to you?
(SJ) T.C. Williams means a lot to me. It’s … it’s my home. It changed me into a better person than what I used to be.
(SM) I’m so emotional because I just think you’re so amazing. And your kindness just … it follows you. It’s you. So the fact that this school could create that kind of environment to make you better, it makes me feel like I’m in the right place, you know?
(SM) What else about the school? What about your coaches?
(SJ) My coaches, they really want to see me succeed.
(SM) You had good vibes.
(SJ) They pushed me to the limit and they do all they can just to make me successful.
(SM) They do.
(SJ) Ms. Morris means a lot to me. She’s … she’s the reason that I’m graduating this year. And she’s just an amazing person. She just … I wouldn’t be where I am today without Ms. Morris.
(SM) You’re a pleasure. You are really just a special person in every way and I think that everything that you want to do you’re gonna be able to do. And that this special favor follows you, you know? Like the Midas touch. You are gold.