Several years ago, Roosevelt Johnson was trying to make it in comedy when he learned that the mother of his children was in legal trouble and was about to lose custody of their four sons.
Johnson couldn’t see that happening, so he fought to keep them.
“Without me stepping up and doing what I was supposed to do anyway, they would have probably been put into foster care. And then, who knows?” said Johnson.
It’ hasn’t been easy since Johnson gain custory.
The family has moved around a lot in the past three years. Since last August, Johnson and the boys have shared a single room in a Burbank motel.
All the while, Johnson has been working to provide a more stable life for his sons: Andrew, 15; Jason, 12; Daniel, 10; and Joshua, 5.
Johnson had been working to make just $60 per day to pay for their housing and food – selling Laker beads, key-chains and socks on the street and at sports bars. Then he joined a Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services program to help him find a better job.
Johnson’s social worker said Johnson was “was on point from the moment he started.” He was referred to Los Angeles Trade Technical College, where Johnson enrolled in a culinary arts program.
Meanwhile, his three youngest sons were home-schooled this past semester because it was such a hassle to get them to all their different campuses. They stayed at a day care while he was in school.
This spring, he graduated from LATTC a 3.5 GPA. He was chosen as the graduation speaker from some 800 students. At the ceremony, Johnson brought his four sons up on stage.
“My guys look up to me, they think highly of me. They expect the most from me,” he told the audience at graduation.