Shakita Monique Johnson, 39

Name: Shakita Monique Johnson

Family: Spouse: Zachariah Johnson (13 years); Son: Jeremiah Johnson (7 y/o)

Hometown: Dallas, Texas

Age: 39 

Company: United Way of Tarrant County/Area Agency on Aging

Position: Executive Director of Area Agency on Aging Tarrant County, Vice President of Community Investment

How do you choose to give back to the community?    I firmly believe in reaching back and reaching out!   Serving on the Texas A&M University School of Law Alumni Board of Directors, National Association of Social Workers Fort Worth Branch Steering Committee, and Care and Prepare Executive Board allows me to do just that.  I am also very passionate about empowering family caregivers and am a frequent speaker on a variety of topics related to older adults.  

What advice would you give to yourself at age 15? There is so much to say to 15 year old Shakita!  Having the benefit of being on this side of life, I would advise her to drop “I can’t…” from her vocabulary and thought process because it’s poison. I would also confirm that her faith is real, her family is strong, and that both will get her through the tough times ahead.  Oh… and buy Google, Netflix, and Hulu stock asap.  

Where did your first paycheck come from? When I was in high school, my dad developed the franchise model for a small restaurant, named Wingstop.  By the time I was of age, my dad had his own Wingstop franchise and put me to work cutting potatoes and veggies.

What other profession would you like to try? I have always been interested in healthcare and seriously considered going to medical school throughout the years.  However, I still get queasy thinking about high school biology and dissection, so… it’s not a good fit.  

Tell us about an influential person in your life. How did they influence you and why are they important? 

I truly had and have a village of wonderful people that influence me daily.  However, my maternal grandmother, albeit deceased now, continues to influence life.  I lived with her from birth and am so grateful for that.  She was fearless, generous, and loved hard.  Most importantly, she taught me the value of having someone in your corner to advocate for you.  I strive everyday to be that person for others.   

What did you want to be when you grew up? An entrepreneur.

What movie, TV show, book, stage play or video game influenced you growing up? “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston.  That was the first book I read that actually transported me to another place that was different and familiar at the same time.  Culturally, I felt seen for the first time in literature.  

Tell us one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to find out? I am very good a shooting pool.

What is your ideal vacation? Before Covid-19, a 20+ day cruise around the world. Now, I would love 10+ days in the Maldives.

Favorite food or restaurant? While I am a foodie that loves various cuisines, fluffy pancakes and Pappasitos are my fave.  

Favorite drink? Sprite

Favorite movie: “Beaches” with Bette Midler.  

Favorite sports team: Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Cowboys.

Favorite song:  “Giving You the Best That I Got” by Anita Baker (really, anything Anita Baker or Patti LaBelle)

Tell us about your prop?   The gold “J” represents the “Golden” family name and my most important roles as the wife of Zachariah Johnson and a mother to my baby, Jeremiah.  I also have a representation of my sorority, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.