Mississippi College

Graduate Student Brad Johns Seeks $20,000 Scholarship

June 7, 2012

Voting for Mississippi College graduate student Brad Johns will improve his chances of winning a $20,000 scholarship to go towards his doctorate in education.

A McLaurin High math teacher who’s waged a courageous battle with Cystic Fibrosis since childhood, Johns recently received a $2,500 academic scholarship from Abbott Pharmaceuticals. But the 40-year-old Magee resident is now in the running to be awarded $17,500 more and hopes people support his contest entry with their votes through August.

Since 1993, Abbot Pharmaceuticals has donated more than $2.2 million in scholarships to Cystic Fibrosis families through its CF Carefund. For nearly 25 years, the company has helped people with Cystic Fibrosis manage their health. Usually, cystic fibrosis causes problems with both the respiratory and digestive systems and most people are diagnosed with the disease before they are one-year-olds. Soon after his birth, Johns became very sick with the disease.

This year’s 20th anniversary of the Cystic Fibrosis scholarship fund has prompted the company to step up its donations to USA undergraduates and graduate students.

The voting on computers in the month-long scholarship contest begins July 30. Votes will count for 30 percent of a candidate’s final score. Brad Johns and 39 other scholarship recipients are judged on their academic records, service to the community, extracurricular activities, creative presentation, and essays.

Just getting the opportunity to win one scholarship and compete nationwide for a much bigger cash award is quite a blessing, the MC alumnus says.

“I am truly honored to receive this scholarship,” Johns said in early June. “I actually applied for the scholarship not thinking I would win. However, you never know until you try. I was floored when I got the email.”

Whether the Mississippian receives $2,500 or $20,000, the scholarship will help Johns pay for his studies in the MC School of Education through the dissertation process. “God is good!,” he said.

The Simpson County family man expects to complete his classes this summer and then write his dissertation. He’s among the first class of Mississippi College doctoral students in educational leadership with a concentration in curriculum and instruction.

Over the years, Johns has spent a considerable amount of time at his alma mater building his credentials as an educator. He received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1994, and a master’s in mathematics education in 2005, both from MC. He earned a specialist degree in education leadership from the Christian university in Clinton in 2010.

In February, Johns received the national Heroes of Hope Living with Cystic Fibrosis award. His story was featured on its national website.

Applauding his latest achievement in 2012, MC math professor Melinda Gann says Johns is not only an extraordinary educator. He’s a dedicated family man devoted to his church and activities like the Super Summer camps at MC every year, she said. The graduate student serves as a children’s minister at Calvary Baptist Church in Braxton.

His strong faith has helped him fight Cystic Fibrosis, Johns said. The McLaurin High educator also gives credit to his wife, Jana, who’s juggled his challenges with Cystic Fibrosis, while raising a family. The couple’s twins, Justin and Elyzabeth, both turned six in April, and the couple also has a 10-year-old son, Josh.

For much of his life, Johns has fought CF with a combination of medicines, home treatment, eating healthy foods, daily exercise and God’s help.

For more information on the Abbott Pharmaceuticals scholarships for college students with Cystic Fibrosis go to http://www.abbviecfscholarship.com.


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