Chris Johnson was born in Detroit Michigan and moved to Kings Mountain, North Carolina in 1973. Mr. Johnson attended Kings Mountain High School in 1973-1976 where he was a three-sports athlete participating in baseball, basketball, and football (where he was the first person in school history to win most Valuable Player two years in a row). Mr. Johnson graduated and received a scholarship to play football at Gardner-Webb University. Mr. Johnson went on to become an Honorable Mention All-American football ball player at GWU, winning many awards, being selected to the All SAC-8 Conference football team three times, and setting the school record in interception with 25 in four years (which has not been broken to this day). Upon graduation from Gardner Webb University in 1980, he began his career teaching and coaching in the North Carolina School System where he has taught for 21 years, during his career he taught at Kings Mountain High School from 1994-1998, East Lincoln High, and Southwest Jr High in Gastonia. Mr. Johnson is currently the Assistant Principal at Saint Stephens High School in Hickory, NC. Mr. Johnson’s passion is his Award Winning NonProfit Leadership Development Program, “Young People of Integrity” which celebrates its ten year anniversary this year. Mr. Johnson is married to Lakeisha Ross Johnson he has three daughters, Sharieka, Kris, Latayvia, and a 1-year-old baby girl named Rhiley, and a Son Xavier who is a sophomore at East Carolina University.
Wendi Gonzalez is native of Catawba County NC and a graduate of Newton-Conover High School. Wendi is the Wife of Pedro Gonzalez of Newton and the Mother of Tabitha, Arianna, and Alex. Wendi has a Computer Science Degree from CVCC and works as a Support Engineer at Transportation Insight LLC (TI) in Hickory NC. Wendi started her work in philanthropy when her children were in high school. Wendi collaborated with the Newton-Conover Band Booster and became known to over 150 children as Mama Wendi. While Wendi has three biological children, she has a total of 13 that she is blessed to have them call her Mom. In 2009 Wendi started working with Samaritan’s Feet Shoes of Hope Distributions giving children not only a new pair of shoes but a message of courage and hope. Wendi and her family have participated or organized shoe distributions all over the state of NC. In 2014 Wendi co-founded Service in Action (SIA) employee lead and sponsored Non-Profit at TI, which has the motto “Give where you live.” Wendi met Chris in 2013 and became a part of the Young People of Integrity Board of in the middle of 2015. In November of 2015, Chris asked Wendi to take on the role of Chair, and she accepted.
Vidal A. Sipe has been with the Hickory Police Department for over 16 years. He is currently serving as the Captain of the Support Services Division. He previously served as a Patrol Lieutenant, Community Services Lieutenant, Patrol Sergeant, and the Street Crimes Interdiction Unit Sergeant. He is one of two North Carolina State certified driving instructors at the Hickory Police Department. Captain Sipe’s education consists of an AAS in Criminal Justice from Catawba Valley Community College and a BA in Criminal Justice from American Military University. He also completed the Management Development Program at the North Carolina Justice Academy. Captain Sipe served with the United States Army and Army Reserves for a little over 22 years before retiring in 2012. He attained the rank of SFC/E-7. Captain Sipe is married to Michelle and has four children, Vidal Jr, Denzell, Isaiah, and Jaiden.
Tabitha graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor in History and Women’s and Gender Studies. Tabitha is a History teacher at Hickory High School. She has taught at West-Meck High School in Charlotte – over aged and under-credited youth – example: 19-year-old freshmen. She is married to Daniel Dollar. Tabitha has two fur babies named Pumpkin and Leia. Tabitha has worked with Samaritan’s Feet for ten years – including completing the Ambassador Training Program. Tabitha has also served as part of focus groups for Young Professionals of Catawba County with Catawba County Chamber of Commerce. Assisted in making a mentoring program for local young professionals and businesses.
Samantha is a graduate of Lenoir- Rhyne University, with two Bachelor’s of Arts in Criminal Justice and Sociology with a minor in psychology. Samantha is from Lincolnton, NC, and Graduated from North Lincoln High School 2013. Samantha works as an Assistant Recreation Programmer for the City of Hickory Parks and Recreation Department. Samantha has a dog that she loves dearly, and her name is Sweetpea. Samantha during her time at LR she was active on campus by being involved in many organizations, like Campus Activities Board, Student Government Association, North Carolina Criminal Justice Association, Circle K, Orientation Leader, Peer Tutor, Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ), Intervarsity, Mortar Board Arko’s Chapter, and Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society. In 2012, Samantha coached soccer in her community but gave it up 2014. In 2014, Samantha started volunteering with an after-school tutor program called City of Refuge. In Summer of 2016, Samantha became an intern for Young People of Integrity. In Fall of 2016, Samantha became a board member. Samantha hobbies include writing, learning, and soccer.