In today’s Spy, there is a short interview with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy’s project manager Darius Johnson on an upcoming planning conference on traffic problems and solutions for Bay Bridge congestion. We encourage our readers to view this conversation here to learn more about this important program.
In the middle of our interesting chat about one of the Spy’s favorite subjects, there was a wave of emotion as the interviewer had a momentary flashback to one of the early stories of the Spy in the 2011. Eight years ago, we met Darius and his father, Barry, in front of Sam’s shortly after he had received news that he had been awarded Washington College’s Vincent Hynson Memorial Scholarship. Just a few weeks from graduating from Kent County High School, Darius talked about his hopes for college life and career aspirations.
Fast forward to the spring of 2019 and the Spy found a unmistakable joy in seeing this young man well on his way in serving the Mid-Shore he loves so most. The full circle of Darius’ journey speaks volumes about the benefits of higher education, but more so much about Kent County schools, Washington College, and most importantly, the impact of hundreds in our community who gave time and resources to make it possible for Vincent Hynson’s memory to be so brilliantly celebrated.
We have reposted our article from May 30, 2011 below.
Kent County High School Senior Darius Johnson is looking forward to attending Washington College for the 2011-2012 school year. But he won’t have to travel far for a home-cooked meal or to get some laundry done. Darius will live on campus, but his home is just a few miles away in Worton.
Darius won the 2011 Vincent Hynson scholarship, established by former Washington College President Baird Tipson. The scholarship honors the life and achievement of local pastor, teacher, and WC graduate, Vincent Hynson, whose leadership in the community made a difference in the lives of Kent County’s youth and his congregation.
Before the big graduation day, Saturday, June 4, the Spy asked Darius to answer a brief questionnaire on his recent achievements and his decision to stay home for his college years.
Question: Besides winning the Vincent Hynson Scholarship, what are among your greatest personal and academic achievements at Kent County High School, what will you remember most about your years at KCHS?
Answer: I would have to say being inducted into the National Honor Society and being voted Most likely to Be Successful by my peers. The NHS is an achievement that basically speaks for itself, and being recognized by those my own age as Most Likely To Be Successful makes me feel like all my hard work has not gone unnoticed. I feel that when one’s peers acknowledge another’s accomplishments, it is a big deal. It is usually adults who show acknowledgment. Honestly, the connections I’ve made with so many people at KCHS will be in my mind forever – the staff, and my friends. I get along well with the majority of the people no matter the age. I’ve became more of a people person throughout my four years at KCHS and I have built some strong relationships.
Question: Most young men your age want to go away to school, why did you decide to stay home to attend college?
Answer: Originally, I did want to get away from Kent County because I felt like it was the thing to do. Everyone else I was friends with has done it or aspired to do it. Hence, why I applied to Drexel University and Mount St. Mary’s. It was not until Fall of my Senior year that I realized that moving away does not determine one’s college experience. I believe college is as enjoyable as one makes it, and I could enjoy WC as much as any other college. I ultimately chose WC because I loved the atmosphere. It fit my laid-back personality and it has a huge variety of people from all over the country. Living on campus will still provide me with the college experience I yearn for, while also staying connected with my roots. So I feel as if I am getting the best of both worlds.
Question: Explain your relationship with your parents, and how that influenced you in your success. What golden rules did they teach you as you grew to be a successful young man?
Answer: My parents are amazing people. They always encourage me to do my best, but never force me to do anything I am uncomfortable with. They are the type of people to teach by example and work hard towards the goals, which naturally was instilled in me. They set a good foundation for their lives by knowing and following their priorities, leading to us living comfortable and happy lives. I’ve learned to always stick by my friends, family and morals in life. To always keep a level head and an open mind. The examples they have provided me with have shaped me into who I am today.
What will your major be at WC, and why did you select the major?
Answer: As of now, I want to major in Criminal Justice or some form of Law. I have always been interested in law and with how the world is today, I cannot help but want to make it a better and safer place. Just looking at the news and seeing all the stories about crime really upset me. I may be only one person, but even one person can make some kind of a difference, and I hope to have a part in fighting against those with a disregard for the law. It seems to be getting worse with the murders and kidnappings of young children, gang violence, and hate crimes. I hate to see someone get hurt, especially if they have no reason for such wrath.
Question: What are your plans after college – do you plan to study abroad, go onto a Master’s degree program, or begin a career?
Answer: After college I plan to go onto a Master’s degree program. I believe I should go as far as I can take myself with my education, so I can put myself into a better position for finding a career. Eventually, I hope to end up working in the Department of Justice.