Spotlight Series: Johnny Nicholson
Johnny Nicholson started working at Arkansas Support Network in November, 2014. He came to Arkansas after Hurricane Katrina. He didn’t have any experience working with or even knowing people who have disabilities. His background was in sales, and he had worked as an apartment manager. After a stop in Siloam Springs, he made his home in Fayetteville.
Nicholson says he saw the opportunity to work for ASN as a blessing. He’s worked with 27 consumers under 7 different supervisors. He currently works under Division Manager Katrina Williams whom he says has gone above and beyond in helping him get through various challenging situations. Williams said of Nicholson, “Johnny has been my backbone. Any time I’ve ever needed him for anything, he’s been there to support our division by ensuring that all of our consumers’ needs were met.” Lately, Nicholson has really stepped up for ASN, too,earning the nickname “Johnny on the Spot.” He has worked fill-in shifts, stayed after his shift to wait on other staff, and kept a positive attitude. He says this comes from understanding that his work is important. He knows that people’s well-being is in his hands. Williams said that Nicholson deserves to be recognized for all his hard work and dedication.
He is currently working with a new consumer whose care requires early morning and late-night shifts. Nicholson is certified in Personal Care, which has brought him a lot of experiences, and he’s glad he is able to help more people.
In addition to his work at ASN, Nicholson has been able to save enough money to start his own recording studio. He works with an artist called Al’Nicx over the last six months. Al’Nicx is also came to Arkansas after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Part of his vision for his studio is to help some ASN consumers record their own music. He’s heard several individuals who are interested, and he is anxious to record someone in particular: “She can really sing. I’d love to get her in the studio and see what she can really do.” He went on to say that this job “takes a lot of patience, caring, and hard work but it’s worth it to help people.”
The smile in his voice is apparent when he talks about what he does. While Hurricane Katrina left so many people with nothing, to build new lives from the ground up, Nicholson found a way to build a new life. A new outlook on people and his own abilities, Nicholson is the kind of person we are glad to have working with and caring for the people we provide services to.