February 1, 2021
Catching up with 2018 Fenwick classmates Devin Johnson and Kevin “KJ” Johnson, Jr.
Fenwick Graduation: 2018
Hometown: Elmhurst, IL
Grade School: Visitation Catholic School
Current School: Fairfield University, CT
Major: English, Professional Writing Major with a Minor in Business Law, Regulation & Ethics
Internships: The summer after my freshman year of college, I interned at Ateema Media and Marketing in Chicago. There, I worked as a marketing intern for their magazine, Concierge Preferred, writing daily-published articles on Chicago events and the hospitality industry.
Last summer, I interned for a Manhattan Bridal Company called Beautini. I worked directly with Founder/CEO Brittany Lo as a digital media strategist. I helped her elevate her brand, implement new social-media initiatives and navigate product development. I also helped create her newsletter for brides whose weddings had been impacted by the pandemic that was featured in the New York Times.
This past semester, I was a Student Grant Writer for the Regional Youth Adult Social Action Partnership, a nonprofit organization in Bridgeport, CT, that advocates for juvenile justice reform, mediation, mental health training and supports those affected by trauma and violence.
I also have interned alongside Fenwick grad (and my dad) Terry Johnson [Class of 1970] in his law practice, where I conduct legal research, interface with clients, and I even worked on a white paper submitted to the EPA advocating for a U.S. asbestos ban.
Career aspirations: Eventually, I see myself attending law school and becoming an attorney, as I am interested in the environment and human rights. However, I also am interested in the fields of publishing, marketing, design and fashion. So really, I could end up anywhere!
Fenwick achievements/activities: Though most of my time in high school was spent dancing in the city at Ballet Chicago, at Fenwick I was involved in the Global Microfinance Club, Broadcasting Club, French Club and National Honor Society.
Fenwick teacher who had the most influence on you: So many teachers at Fenwick have left an influential mark on my education and me. However, one teacher who I think many others can agree that shaped the person I am today was Mr. Arellano. I remember being so apprehensive, yet excited to take Speech after hearing my siblings talk about how difficult it was, but also how much they learned. Mr. Arellano pushed me to step out of my comfort zone. I have noticed in college how some of my peers have a hard time standing up and presenting themselves in an affirmative manner. I thank and credit Mr. Arellano for teaching me the speech skills I have today and to go about using my voice with confidence.
Fenwick class that had the most influence on you: It is difficult just to pick one, but I think my junior-year U.S. History class with Mr. Quinn further sparked my interest in social justice and the law. I found it interesting to learn about the government and how it worked, but also how individual’s lives during each time period were impacted by political decision-making.
Best Fenwick experience/the one you would like to live again: If I could live a Fenwick experience again, I think I would honestly wish to relive a normal day in my life walking the Fenwick halls. What I find myself missing the most about Fenwick is the day-to-day. It sounds odd, but the thing we may have taken for granted are the moments I find myself cherishing the most: waking up way too early, the early morning drives, loitering in the halls with your best friends before first period, cafeteria muffins after a hard physics test, and being intellectually stimulated in classes with teachers and peers who encouraged you to think harder and formulate your opinions.
What Fenwick experience changed you the most: I think the experience at Fenwick that changed me the most was in my senior year during the school “Walk Out” honoring those lives lost in school shootings in wake of the then recent Parkland shooting. We were a part of a bigger nationwide movement that day standing outside in silence listening to the names of the victims of gun violence read out loud. To this day, I still remember the name on my slip of paper handed out; it read “Jack Pinto, age 6, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newton, Connecticut.” I am thankful that Fenwick let us take a moment away from our studies to advocate for something we believed so strongly in.
KEVIN JOHNSON, JR.
Fenwick Graduation: 2018
Hometown: Hillside, IL
Grade School: Hillside Elementary School
Current School: Arizona State University
Major: Computer Science
Career aspirations: I plan to work for a software engineering company. There is software in so many devices we use, and I would like to work towards making better software for our future.
Fenwick Achievements/Activities: Blackfriars Guild Crew, National Honor Society, Soccer, Volleyball, Band, French Club, Kairos Leader
Fenwick teacher who had the most influence on you: I would say that Mr. Kleinhans had the most influence on me. No matter what class Mr. Kleinhans was teaching, he would always treat everyone with respect and was able to show his care for each one of his students. I remember that every Friday, at the end of class, he would tell us a story about something in his life, and he would call it his “Feel Good Fridays.” Mr. Kleinhans had a very successful company that he sold before working at Fenwick, yet he still felt like he had more to do and decided to teach. He was the one who got me interested in majoring in computer science. When I had his class for Honors Physics, he showed how willing he was to work with all of his students to make sure everyone had a good understanding of each concept, and he did it in a way that could still put a smile on our faces.
Fenwick class that had the most influence on you: My introduction to Python [programming language] class had a huge influence on me. This was the first class where I could code something and actually see an output from it. I still have our final project on my iPad, which was essentially a program where you could order what type of ice cream you wanted. Mr. Kleinhans was my teacher for this class and, once again, he was able to make sure everyone from every background would have a good basic knowledge of what coding is and how to do it. I have advanced a lot since then, but I still like to pull up my old programs to see how far I have come.
Best Fenwick experience/the one you would like to live again: Post-prom is definitely an experience that I would like to live again. It was a time when we could go around school and be there to simply play games, eat food and have a good time with people that we were going to part ways with shortly after. It was an amazing last hurrah before graduating.
What Fenwick experience changed you the most: I am going to jump on the bandwagon and say that Kairos was the Fenwick experience that changed me the most. I can definitely say that the “kai-high” feeling is real. You may feel at your most vulnerable, but you could not be more loved at that place. After going as a retreatant, I was more willing to talk with those that I had not talked to over the past three years. Then, while going as a leader, it felt even better to see all of my peers come out of their shell more just as I did and retreatants prior. Kairos really showed me that, although we are all in different places in life, we are all still human with the same emotions. That idea bonds all of us together more than we could ever imagine.
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