John Johnson in Albany campus libraryComing from Brooklyn, John Johnson knew Sage was going to mean a big change in his life. “But, after the fast-paced world I grew up in, I wanted to be at a college where I could get totally focused,” he says. “When I visited the campus, and felt how tight-knit this community is, I knew I’d found the right place.”

Also, John was trying to challenge himself, because he had some pretty lofty goals. “I wanted to become the best version of myself,” he says. “And as crazy as this might sound, I wanted to help change the world.”

It doesn’t sound so crazy when you consider that John achieved a 3.8 GPA in his first semester, and has served as an admissions student ambassador, basketball team manager and assistant residence director, while also interning at the New York State Education Department and becoming Student Government Association president.

“Sage gives you so many opportunities to make the most of yourself,” John says. “And if you have your own ideas, you’ll find people to help make them real. So many people believed in me. If you put yourself out there, if you become involved, things happen.”

In conversation, John returns again and again to the idea that Sage “is a culture and a community of people who believe.”

“Professors treat you as an individual,” he says. “They get to know both your strengths and your weaknesses. They know you by your name, and by your character.”

As result, John says he’s developed a real confidence in who he is, and the steps he needs to take on his path to success. He’s been accepted into UAlbany’s master’s program in communications. He hopes this leads him to a career as a motivational speaker, or talk show host. Or to some position that helps him reach young people who need help in achieving their own dreams.