Kai Johnson has been volunteering since she was a child. “I’ve always been a servant at heart and found a way to give back through mentoring or helping out at a facility or community center,” she said. Since having a daughter, Johnson is even more motivated. “I want to help improve the community through equal education opportunities in underserved areas, engaging schools from kindergarten age through high school to help level the playing field and reduce the discrepancy in diversity with access to STEM fields.”
“Johnson has been a pillar in the Marion County community,” said Tia Chambers, her 100 Heroes nominator. “She is the president of BOLDforce and works with a variety of organizations to ensure children in underserved areas are receiving more access to opportunities in the STEM field.”
BOLDforce is the Black Organization for Leadership and Development at Salesforce where Johnson is senior human resources manager. Johnson is excited about the impact BOLDforce provides.
“We have more than 200 members and throughout the past year we have engaged in more than 750 volunteer hours in our community, partnering with high schools to provide STEM workshops throughout the year for students,” Johnson said. “We give them exposure to leaders and professionals at Salesforce that look like them, people whom they might not have had access to engage with.”
Johnson offered advice for people interested in becoming involved in the community. “Find a niche or organization you have an interest or passion in. Don’t do it because someone tells you to; otherwise, you won’t want to commit time away from other important life priorities,” she said.
Johnson is also very involved with the Indianapolis Urban League and helped incorporate The Exchange, an auxiliary organization dedicated to bringing the next generation of leaders into the Urban League movement.
“The Central Indiana community has so much going on and it’s easy to find areas and organizations to get connected, network and give back,” Johnson said. She’s inspired by getting to know and work with other young professionals who want to do more to help their fellow neighbors. Johnson finds the work rewarding, as every little bit helps.
One wish Johnson has for the community: to make sure there are equal education opportunities for all. With more people like Johnson leading the charge, her wish will get closer to reality.