Class president receives praise from other President

SOUTH PHILADELPHIA - July 28, 2010

Stefan Johnson is even on the presidential radar.

Last year, Stefan Johnson became the first African American Catholic to win class president in the 120 year history of Roman Catholic High School, beating back seven other competitors.

"It was a very competitive election. You had teachers who taught there for 40 years who said they had never seen anything like it," Johnson said.

After his win last year, the school's president insisted Stefan write a letter to President Obama.

"I didn't think much of it at all. if was like, write a letter to President Obama? He's not going to respond to me," Johnson said.

Still, Stefan sent off a two paragraph note.

"I told him about Roman. I told him I enjoyed high school and some of the things I wanted to do as student class president," Johnson said.

You can see why someone saw a connection: Both men have transcended race in politics and both were raised by strong single mothers.

In fact, Monica Johnson petitioned to get Stefan in Roman Catholic after he was first rejected and sacrificed to keep him there.

"If it meant working two jobs, if it meant working double shifts, if it meant forgoing car payments for tuition, I was going to do it," Monica said.

Last fall, an envelope arrived from the White House. A note was inside.

"It says: Stefan, thanks for your letter. We are very proud of you. Keep it up. Barack Obama. It means a lot to me that he took time out of his day to respond to my letter," Stefan said.

The White House also called and asked Stefan to come visit the Oval Office. He'll take his tour this Saturday. Obama may not be present, but Stefan has thoughts on making sure the president knows he was there.

"Maybe I can take him a Phillies hat. I know he's a White Sox fan, but the Phillies are in D.C. this weekend," Stefan said.

Stefan wants to go into journalism or politics and he's off to a great start: he starts at La Salle this fall, all on a full ride.

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