Julius Johnson will be the first male in his family to go to college. He is humble when asked if he thinks of himself as a role model. "My little brothers can’t wait for me to leave already," he says. "They want my room." Then he adds, "I know they’ll miss me."
This self-deprecating humor is typical for Julius. "I just love to laugh and have fun," he says. "That’s my thing. Separate the balance between fun and work."
Because he lives in Southeast DC, Julius had to get up at 6:00 AM each morning to travel to Bell Multicultural High School in Columbia Heights. He graduated from Bell on Thursday, June 10th. His parents, stepmother, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers and cousins traveled from as far away as Chicago to celebrate his accomplishment.
This August, Julius will try to be a walk-on for the Bowie State team. He hopes to be a running back or linebacker. At Bowie State he will study sports medicine.
His play When Dreams Sleep was inspired by his love of sports. In it, a football star must face the consequences after unwittingly using steroids. He says, "I wrote When Dreams Sleep because I am an athlete and I watch sports and when you see a celebrity doing steroids, you know they don’t realize how it effects our youth."
When Dreams Sleep was Julius’s first play. Although he says he had fun writing it, he admits that he’s mostly focused on sports. He does recognize, "writing could open some doors."
He advises other young people, "Just work hard. Whatever you want in life, just work for it. Because everything is achievable."