Ms. Bonita C. Johnson is President and CEO of Enchanted Closet, a volunteer-run nonprofit service organization, which is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Enchanted Closet was founded in 2003 as a community service project to provide prom dresses to disadvantaged girls. To date, more than 4,000 girls have been outfitted for special occasions. This year, the Enchanted Closet is celebrating their 10th anniversary. Additionally, this year will mark the 11th Annual Prom Dress Giveaway season. There are two Prom Dress Giveaway events this year: March 16 and March 30.
The Enchanted Closet was founded in 2003 as a community service project to provide prom dresses to disadvantaged girls. To date, more than 4,000 girls have been outfitted for special occasions. This year, the Enchanted Closet is celebrating their 10th anniversary. Additionally, this year will mark the 11th Annual Prom Dress Giveaway season. The Prom Dress Giveaway events will be held on March 16 and March 30.
While communicating with the girls that received dresses for the organization, Bonita saw there was a need to do more in the community. In 2008, she created the GIRL$ Program, which are monthly mentoring workshops designed to increase the self-esteem, self-awareness and self-sufficiency of girls. Some recent topics of the GIRL$ Program events include financial intelligence, building your brand, college preparation, and career education. More than 500 girls have participated in the GIRL$ program to date.
As a volunteer run organization, the Enchanted Closet depends on strategic partnerships and fundraising to orchestrate hundreds of fairytales each year. This requires Bonita to spend no less than 70 hours a month engaged in meetings and conference calls with potential donors, sponsors and volunteers all while maintaining a full-time job as a microbiologist. Under Bonita’s leadership, the Enchanted Closet has experienced a 300% increase in donations and a 40 % decrease in operational expenses. Metro Atlanta families have saved more than $80,000 annually and more than $500,000 throughout the years by obtaining formal dresses from the Enchanted Closet. Many of these families would go without electricity, medicine, or food in sacrifice to purchase dresses.
The programs developed by Bonita have facilitated the breaking of adverse generational cycles, and have motivated girls to move beyond their current situations with hope for an enchanting life. Bonita deserves to be recognized as Today’s Honoree not just because of the many lives she has already touched, but for the future growth she will continue to inspire. Honoring Bonita’s work would contribute greatly to her noble cause.
Bonita Johnson is a Microbiologist employed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Atlanta, Georgia with notable accomplishments such as service on the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, where she coordinated mobile laboratories at two locations which tested drinking and recreational water for bacteria, and being one of 10 EPA employees selected nationwide for the first EPA Science and Policy, Regional Research Partnership Program. This experience availed Bonita the opportunity to conduct DNA research to identify species of bacteria in the environment and yielded her national recognition in her field.
Bonita is proud of her academic preparation at Tuskegee University and Auburn University where she studied Environmental Science. It was during her sophomore year at Tuskegee that she made a lifelong commitment to serve all mankind and joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She has led numerous community service activities within the sorority, while also serving on the leadership council and boards of several organizations with a mission to uplift the disadvantaged and abused and to provide fair treatment to all. Amongst these organizations Bonita is most passionate about are: the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Innocence Project.
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