Submitted by Denair High School
Henry Johnson has been overcoming obstacles, knocking down barriers and inspiring those around for all of his 16 years.
Now, the Denair High School sophomore has been recognized as part of a countywide program honoring students who have succeeded against all odds, beyond expectations or simply won the hearts of the administrators and other educators who helped them achieve their goals.
Tuesday morning, Henry was among 23 Stanislaus County students from 14 districts to receive an Every Student Succeeding Award at a breakfast in downtown Modesto.
Henry was born with Apert Syndrome, a genetic defect that falls under the broad classification of craniofacial/ anomalies and is primarily characterized by specific malformations of the skull, midface, hands, and feet. His skull was prematurely fused and unable to grow normally, and his fingers and toes were fused together in varying degrees.
He has undergone more than 20 surgeries to separate his fingers and toes, reform his skull and restructure his face. His most recent was early this year at UC Davis to realign his eyes.
Through it all, Henry has maintained a positive attitude about school and life. He is popular with his classmates and a favorite of his teachers. From 2008 to 2011, he and his family raised more than $90,000 for cranial research through a series of Henry’s March fun runs at CSU Stanislaus.
“Henry is an amazing kid,” said Denair Principal Kara Backman, who nominated him for the award. “He is the true definition of a young man that exudes grit, perseverance, and kindness.” Continue reading “Denair High Student Henry Johnson Honored with Special Stanislaus County Award” »