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Wilson raw

(L to R): Middle Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tripp Fitzner; Wilson Johnson; and former Middle Judicial Circuit District Attorney Hayward Altmah

Wilson Johnson truly wants to make a difference in the lives of young people, and Thursday night, his efforts were honored at a retirement celebration.

“I am humbled,” he said after the dinner. “It truly means a lot to me to see all these people come out. I am touched that so many people support the work I do.”

Johnson has worn many hats in the community, but perhaps the one most special to him is an organization he began to help deter youth from incarceration called Community Project Hope.

“When I lived in Miami all those years ago, there was a lady who did a similar program and I worked with her,” Johnson said. “I knew God was making it my calling. When I came back here to Vidalia, I was seeing some of the same things here that were happening there.”

Johnson approached Superior Court Judges Kathy Palmer and Bobby Reeves about his idea, and the Judges agreed to help and support him in his mission.

“I’m not a judge or a lawyer, but if anyone wants help, I will help,” he said.

Johnson doesn’t just work with the courts to keep young people out of jail. There are rules that must be followed including attending church, continuing their education, remain out of trouble and other actions to correct negative behavior.

Community Project Hope has proven successful many times, but Johnson doesn’t ask for any accolades.

“I don’t do this for any praise,” he concluded. “I just want to do the work God has called me to do.”

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