Erica Johnson

Erica Johnson has served at MGCCC for nearly eight years, currently holding the vital role of WIOA Youth Project director. This position plays a crucial role in enhancing educational literacy in the state. In her capacity, Johnson oversees the MGCCC Out-of-School Youth Program, specifically designed to assist high school and college graduates, as well as youth aged 16-24 who need a high school diploma.

The program aims to equip participants with essential skills, including financial literacy, job searching, interviewing strategies, career guidance, and life skills. Moreover, it provides paid work experience, with supportive services covering transportation, work-related tools/clothing, and education-related testing fees. Successful completion of program requirements is rewarded with paid incentives and it is offered to students at no cost.

For Johnson, her role is not just a job; it’s an opportunity to make a meaningful impact on lives. She takes pride in the transformative work, emphasizing the positive change the program brings to students facing barriers such as a lack of hope, motivation, and essential skills. Working alongside an equally passionate team, she encourages them to be the guiding light students need on their journey to success.

Expressing her appreciation for MGCCC, Johnson values the institution’s commitment to putting students first and its innovative approach in breaking boundaries. She admires the college’s dedication to excellence across various domains.

Outside of her professional commitments, Erica Johnson shares her life with her husband Russell, proudly taking on the role of a stepmother to Dasjua Price and a dog mom to Boudin. Born and raised in Gulfport, MS, her family instilled in her the importance of education. She actively participates in various organizations, including the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church Choir, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., National Council of Negro Women, Alcorn State University Alumni Association, Phi Theta Kappa, and serves as a Board Member and Secretary of Open Doors Homeless Coalition.

Her leisure time is spent traveling, enjoying quality moments with her family, fishing, and cooking alongside her husband on their food truck, “On Like A Fish Bone.” Erica acknowledges her grandmother, the late Aurabelle M. Caggins, as her hero—a matriarch and a true Pillar of Dignity and Strength in the community. Aurabelle’s groundbreaking achievements, including being the oldest elected official in Mississippi and the first Black female to run for Mayor in Gulfport, inspire Johnson in her own pursuits.

To learn more about the WIOA program at MGCCC,visit:

For a podcast about Erica’s grandmother, visit