If there was one word that Genya Johnson could use to describe her existence, that word would be grateful.
Grateful for the experiences, the people in her life, the challenges that she has encountered, grateful for life itself.
When she was just six years old, Johnson was involved in an accident that punctured her lungs. At that tender age, she recalls coming face to face with death.
“Everyone thought I was going to die. After I did the surgery, I could not eat, breathe or even pee on my own,” she told BUZZ.
Coupled with the long recovery process, was the challenges that arose from living in a household with a mentally challenged father.
” I do not come from a wealthy family but a wealthy family should come from me “— Johnson
“Living in an unhappy household with a toxic or mentally challenged person was like walking through hell while bringing the pains of your ancestors from slavery on your back,” she said.
However, Johnson shared that she is grateful that her mom eventually moved out of the household with her and three siblings. And she was able to complete her childhood surrounded by love, and her single-parent family developed a bond she wouldn’t change for the world.
Now, at 23-years-old, Johnson is building on the foundation of strength, gratitude and optimism that was established during her childhood.
Businesswoman and student
She is currently pursuing a Mphil degree in Linguistics at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, while operating her online clothing store- Genz Apparel.
Johnson told BUZZ that she started the store to help with the financial struggles she faced while pursuing her degree.
It supplies female clothing like bikinis, fashion bags, heels, accessories and beach hats.
“My financial situation inspired me to start Genz Apparel. I do not come from a wealthy family but a wealthy family should come from me,” she said.
But finding the balance between business and her studies is not an easy task, however, it is one that Johnson tries to achieve at all cost.
Her prowess in doing this has afforded her the opportunity to receive the prestigious, UWI Postgraduate Scholarship which covers her tuition and personal expenses.
Needless to say, this scholarship has lessened her financial struggles since she first started Genz Apparel. But Johnson has had the taste of what owning her own business is like and is hooked.
“The aim is for my business to expand so I can one day pass it on to my children. I would also love to open my own private school for students between the ages of 3 and 5 years of age,” she said.