Every year at NSH’s Symposium/Convention, NSH encourages attendees to give back to the host community by supporting a local charity. This year’s charity, The Korey Johnson Foundation, was unique, as it was started by a histotech, Korey Johnson, of Quest Diagnostics.
The Korey Johnson Foundation hosts events annually for kids in the St. Louis area, providing them with much needed items, such as backpacks and school supplies. The focus here however, is not on the items the kids are receiving, but what the kids are giving. Each participant at the foundation’s events are required to bring a canned good, which is donated to other local charities. The goal of the foundation is to instill in the community youth, the importance of helping others, even while they receive.
Thanks to the support of our generous S/C attendees, NSH was able to donate 564 school supplies to Korey’s Foundation. Those items will go into backpacks that will be given to 38 children in the St. Louis community.
Korey himself was able to attend the S/C and participate in some of the events there. We interviewed Mr. Johnson to learn a bit more about his Foundation and his experience as a histotech.
NSH: What inspired you to start the Korey Johnson Foundation?
Korey: “What inspired me to start the Foundation was the negative talk I kept hearing about the state of our youth. I didn’t want to join the negative talks about them because I used to be one of them. I wanted to be change seen to narrative and change my environment for the young children that are growing up in the community I live in.”
NSH: How did you get involved with NSH to be this year’s Stuff Your Suitcase charity?
Korey: "We got involved in the Stuff your Suitcase Charity Donation through the Missouri Society of Histology. Sharon, Lisa, Julie and AnnaStacia were a huge part of making that happen."
NSH: Did you volunteer at this year’s Career Day?
Korey: "Yes I did. I was really impressed with how we were able to interact with all of the students and show them what histology is all about from beginning to end. I would love to be a part of it from now on."
NSH: Would a Career Day be something that the kids you mentor through the Foundation would be interested in?
Korey: "Absolutely!!!! The children that participate in Korey’s Kids program would really love to see this. They are very engaging and would love to see it."
NSH: What is your favorite part of being in the histology profession?
Korey: "The favorite part about my job is the team I work with. Knowing that we all have each other's back makes the job a lot easier to provide quality care to the patients we serve."
NSH: Do you have any advice for fellow histotechs interested in getting more involved in their community?
Korey: "My advice to one interested in histology is to ask someone who’s in the field for a tour of the lab. I would tell them to find a histology mentor that will stick with them all the way through the levels of histology."
NSH: Any last comments on the event?
Korey: "I was really impressed with the conference and what it has to offer to our profession. I plan to participate next year in New Orleans, especially the Career Day. I personally want to thank everyone who donated items to the Foundation and believed in the mission that we have for our children. This year with the help of the NSH we collected 564 individual items. Yes, we have problems but it’s organizations that see the big picture and we choose to do something about it. Because of you, 38 more children will receive backpacks and school supplies next school year and I’m proud to be a part of NSH."