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Kendrick Brown
Gene Johnson poses with Superintendent Reginald James in the latter's office. Johnson has known James since James was a baby and the two have been friends for about 20 years.

When Gene Johnson gives the graduation commencement speech to East Gadsden’s Class of 2015 this May, he hopes to impart to them the mindset that helped him rise from being a service attendant on a train to being a defense attorney with the department of justice in Washington, D.C.

“You have to have in your mind the willingness to achieve,” Johnson said. “Whatever obstacles there are, you have to be able to deal with them.”