NFL pro football veteran Michael Johnson has established a scholarship fund at historically Black Tuskegee University in Alabama to honor his mother Thomasene Johnson, an alumna of Tuskegee.
Johnson, who retired from the NFL in August 2019, has made forging new educational and economic opportunities for others in and around his native Selma, Alabama, his new full-time job. He’s doing this through his MJ 93-90 Foundation — an organization he founded in 2009 during his rookie year, and that his mother ran while he played in the NFL.
Rooted in the biblical philosophy that to whom much is given, much is expected, Johnson and his foundation are focused on helping youth capitalize on their talents and abilities — with an emphasis on education, technology, and proper health and nutrition.
Johnson’s collaboration with the university is not limited to his philanthropic support. He is already discussing with Tuskegee’s leadership ongoing academic, entrepreneurial and athletic empowerment initiatives that will benefit students and enhance degree programs.
Johnson began his professional football career in 2009 when he was drafted in the third round by the Cincinnati Bengals. After five seasons with the Bengals, he spent one season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before returning to the Bengals in 2015. It was around that time that he also completed his degree from Georgia Tech, where he played as a defensive end during the 2005 through 2008 seasons.