Kimberly P. Johnson

In 1985, Kimberly P. Johnson had to take time off from college to earn money to pay back some of her student loans.

She went to work as a flight attendant and, before she knew it, twenty years had gone by. During that time, she became a successful children’s author and a passionate advocate for children’s literacy. Her company, Simply Creative Works, was off to a strong start.

She published twelve children’s books, appeared on the Today Show in New York City, and was invited to be a guest reader at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.

But Kimberly still had one unfulfilled goal; she wanted to finish her degree.

“I don’t know why finishing my degree became so important to me, but it did . . . and it was a tough road! It was really hard to go back and to figure it all out,” Johnson says.

But she found her way, thanks to the help of Carolina staff.

“You think that Carolina is so big, people won’t have time for you and your questions. But that’s not true at all. They made me feel special and gave me all the time I needed.”

Johnson started taking Self-paced Courses at the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education and earned her degree in 2006.

“It was such a monumental moment for me,” she says, “I had a successful career and had even been invited to the White House, but this one thing, finishing my degree, has been the highlight of my life.”

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