“Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness"
“Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It's the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.” That’s what Erica Celeste Johnson, 47, tries living by. Born on December 22, 1975, in Daytona Beach, FL, to Harvey and Marsha Porter, Erica says that it was her parents that “provided me with a model for a stable, loving, and nurturing home environment. I was encouraged to pursue my passions and interests, and my parents served as the epitome of excellence, diligence, and strength.”
Early on, Erica had a strong sense of what she wanted to be when she grew up. “I have wanted to be a teacher and lawyer since I was 7 years old. I wanted an EZ Grader to quickly calculate percentage grades for the “schoolwork” I assigned to playmates in the neighborhood. I wanted a briefcase because my father religiously watched the Perry Mason show, and Mr. Mason always carried a brief case to court. One of my favorite childhood memories was getting an EZ Grader and briefcase for my 8th birthday.” She would be on her fifth-grade debate team.
Her grade school years were well rounded years. She was a cheerleader in junior and high school. She was also a member of a gospel singing group with her siblings and cousins. And it was during these years that she was introduced to someone that would change her life until this day. “I was on my way to the candy store when a boy from my neighborhood told me that I was a “very attractive young lady.” I was 13 years old and not permitted to date at that time. Still, I thought it was a nice compliment and was flattered. I would see him again at a football game as a young adult and have been married to him, Marcus Johnson, for 19 years today!”
Erica graduated from Mainland High School in 1993 and attended Daytona State College and Bethune-Cookman University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology Education. She was a teacher for Volusia County School Board and an adjunct instructor for Daytona State College. “As a first-year teacher, I wanted to do everything possible to help my students be successful. I recall giving an assessment where the majority of them performed poorly. I responded by reaching out to other teachers and doing research regarding innovative teaching strategies. These modifications proved to successfully support my students.”
Erica would go on to graduate from the University of Florida, Levin College of Law, cum laude, where she earned several awards including a Book Award for Legal Writing and Book Award for Negotiations. Attorney Johnson interned at the Fifth District Court of Appeal for the now Florida Supreme Court Justice, A. Lawson. She participated in the James C. Adkins American Inn of Court and was a member of the legal honor society, Phi Delta Phi. Following law school, Attorney Johnson worked for Cobb Cole PA, a large civil law firm on Central Florida's east coast. She is now the owner and managing attorney for Johnson Law Center PLLC.
Between 2010 and 2014, Erica experienced the deaths of 8 family members. “Experiencing such great loss has contributed to my ability to connect with clients who have also lost a loved one and offer support and care during the probate process. I overcame these challenges by redefining my values and finding gratitude in the opportunity to embark upon new beginnings.”
Enjoying her family is of high value and importance. Along with Marcus, she takes pride in her children, Jaylen and Jazlyn Johnson. She’s highly active in the community and is by her account driven and passionate. Erica is an avid Reader, a big fan of Marvel movies, and loves to travel. Her faith is important to her.
“My personal goals are to be a source of love and comfort husband, children, and parents. I want to be remembered as one who created her own path to improve self and positively impact the people and community I love.”