Johnson maintains a championship pace at FAMU


Discipline, accountability and self-determination are qualities that distinguish Destiny L. Johnson, a member of FAMU’s championship cross-country and track teams. She displays each characteristic as she flourishes in the classroom and on the track.

Johnson, a fourth-year animal science pre-veterinary medicine student, believes you must push yourself athletically and educationally to be the best.

To stay motivated, Johnson rekindles words from her high school coaches and Golden State Warriors NBA player, Kevin Durant.

“Hard work beats talent, when talent fails to work hard,” says Durant. Johnson refers to Durant’s quote daily to kick-start her mornings.

Second-year business administration student, Shareek Branch recalled meeting Johnson on the field. Branch quickly came to respect Johnson’s work ethic.                                                     

“Destiny is the athlete that is looked upon as a student leader,” Branch said. Branch and Johnson are both classified as middle-distance runners.

She works hard at her sport. Johnson is expected to run a minimum of 20 miles per week in practice along with performing well in class. The many requirements and duties presented to one individual seem impossible to maintain.

Despite the challenges, Johnson for y ears has persisted to overcome barriers.

During her senior year of high school, Johnson suffered a devastating injury when she broke her leg. The injury resulted in missed opportunities for recruitment at other institutions and athletic programs.  

“It’s a miracle for any student athlete to persevere athletic involvements following an injury,” said Kyle Gaines, assistant trainer for FAMU Athletics. “The healing process of the human body takes time and much therapy.”

Nevertheless, Johnson viewed the setback as a positive opportunity. She was recruited by FAMU Athletics and has since bled orange and green.  

“I had no idea I would be attending FAMU. However, I know now that this is where I am supposed to be,” Johnson said.

Johnson plans to enroll in veterinary school after graduating FAMU in the fall. She will be accessible to FAMU student athletes as a student-coach where she will be able to contribute her talents and past experiences.

Johnson has fulfilled her goals, running all four years in college, remaining vigilant with her studies and growing as an individual. When asked what gives her a sense of hope, Johnson modestly answered, saying providing assistance to others.

“Continuing my education and giving back to my community gives me hope. I am very excited to graduate and give back to the same communities that assisted me when was I was a child,” Johnson said.

Johnson has enjoyed several athletic accomplishments. Johnson and her teammates captured the MEAC Women’s Cross Country Championship trophy four straight years (2014-2017) and MEAC Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Champions (2015, 2016).

Johnson plans to graduate with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

“I don’t have many worries, I try to stay as positive as possible,” Johnson said.