After leaving the public school system in Houston, Texas, Monica Johnson volunteered at several different schools in several school districts within the Houston area. Several years before, Monica volunteered at several schools and community settings involving children in New Orleans , La. She noticed the same problem in both cities; the lack of social skills and social services.
Monica, having been raised in poverty and knowing the challenges of that environment, was led to provide a safe haven for children to grow and nourish; the kind of place that was only seen on television and wished she could be apart of. Monica founded Empower With Purpose in January 2011. The organization provided free tutoring and homework assistance at a local church and at a clubhouse in an apartment complex. At that time, the organization’s goal was to provide a safe haven for children to attend after school.
In August 2011, Monica met a Rev. Leslie Smith. the CEO/ Founder of Change Happens, a nonprofit organization on Houston. He began to mentor her in the growth and development of the organization. In October of that year, a partnership between Empower With Purpose and Change Happens began. By September of 2015, Empower With Purpose has impacted and touhed the lives of over 9,000 children.