What does philanthropy mean to you?
Philanthropy has been a part of my personal and family framework for many years. I believe that philanthropy is more than just giving to the less fortunate, that my donation should “pay it forward”, and serve a purpose to help someone better themself, achieve a goal or dream. I’m very lucky to be able to share my good fortune with others and believe that supporting education is the best way to do so.
I graduated from Schoolcraft College, a community college in Michigan. I combined this education experience with my Marine Corps service plus a four-year degree to achieve great professional and personal success. I retired as a Burger King executive and am on my second career as an executive and franchisee with Subway.
I know the importance education has played in my life and proudly “pay it forward” as a Miami Dade College donor.
Why did you decide to establish the Timothy E. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship Fund at Miami Dade College?
My wife Joy and I established the scholarship in memory of our son, Timothy Jr., in 2013. Timothy Jr. was an engineer by training, a pilot by passion, and committed to charitable causes, especially as a volunteer pilot for “Pilots N Paws.” Through Timothy Jr.’s love of flying, we saw the need for licensed and well-trained pilots.
What impact would you like your gift to have?
The cost of a flight degree is quite expensive. Students must pay for tuition and books as well as the flight time required to graduate. The cost for flight training is nearly triple the cost of tuition and books. By helping to pay for students’ flight training, this scholarship assists with achieving their goal of becoming a pilot.
What advice do you think Timothy Jr. would give to the student scholars?
Timothy Jr. would encourage student scholars to pursue their personal dreams and give back to others as much as possible. He gave a great deal of his time and energy to others in need and would love to know that I’m continuing those pursuits.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about making a donation to Miami Dade College?
I encourage everyone to donate to MDC because I know how a community college education can really transform your life and career.
Since 2013, fifteen students have received the Timothy E. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship in the amount of $8,000 each. The following are some of the recent scholarship recipients:
- Odanys Velazquez attended her first airshow at the age of four. Fast forward to her service as Miami Dade College Flight Team Captain or volunteering for our annual “Holiday Flight to Remember” children’s party and you can envision her as a 747 pilot.
- As a high school senior, Richard Martinez wanted to enroll in our flight school but couldn’t afford the tuition. Now, Richard is a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper who wants to combine his criminal justice degree with a professional pilot’s license and serve in Florida Highway Patrol’s aviation unit.
- Hakeem Hafidh made paper airplanes in elementary school, tagged along to his uncle’s MDC flight training sessions at age 7, and earned his private pilot’s license at age 17 – before he had his driver’s license.
Tim Johnson encourages all student scholarship recipients to “pay it forward” by giving back to Miami Dade College as much as possible.
Learn more about how you can make a difference at www.mdcfoundation.com