Young Entrepreneur Recognized for Outstanding Work as Philanthropist

What started as a way to help others in times of crisis turned into a successful social enterprise for one Colorado high school graduate.

Briana Johnson recently received honors on National Philanthropy Day in Aurora, Colorado.

Johnson, an active member in the Junior Achievement Program at Gateway High School, was nominated by the Carson J. Spencer Foundation, Junior Achievement and the Better Business Bureau for Outstanding Youth Philanthropist.

Johnson saw that there was a growing number of students at her high school and used her time in the FIRE Within program, a program designed to help students find the root causes to suicide prevention in their communities, to develop the “Ask Me About My List,” a small business targeted to those feeling down and out. She asked her fellow classmates to write a list of why life is worth living, and then put that list on t-shirts. If any of those reasons came off the list, the students were instructed to tell someone. Johnson’s leadership in the class impacted 942 students and earned $346 in sales in just eight weeks.

“Briana exemplifies student success in Aurora Public Schools,” said Aurora Public Schools Superintendent John L. Barry to the Denver Post. “Her involvement with her peers is to be recognized and commended. We look forward to hearing about Briana’s future accomplishments!”

The CU-Boulder freshman hopes to continue her work in bettering the world. She intends to major in environmental engineering so that she can work with energy providers to create solutions for a clean environment.

Those who know her believe she’ll be able to do anything she desires.

“Briana does what all incredible social entrepreneurs do,” said Jess Stohlmann, FIRE Program Director for the Carson J. Spencer Foundation. “She sets goals that seem unreasonable, and finds a way to achieve them.”

For more on this young lady’s achievements, head to the Denver Post.