Jefferson Award 2011: Federal Way's Megan Johnson earns national public service prize

Federal Way resident Megan Johnson is the founder of Megan
Federal Way resident Megan Johnson is the founder of Megan's Mission.
— image credit: Courtesy image

Federal Way resident Megan Johnson was named one of 18 national Jefferson Award winners in a ceremony June 21 in Washington, D.C.

In the spring, Johnson was named Washington's winner of the Jefferson Award, considered the "Nobel Prize" of public service. She represented the state at Tuesday's ceremony.

Johnson has donated thousands of dollars to charities through multiple endeavors, starting at age 10. She founded Megan’s Mission to provide homeless people with blankets, clothing, food and more.

Johnson has also authored and illustrated three children’s books. One of those books, “Growing up Different,” has sold nearly 10,000 copies and earned Johnson a letter from first lady Michelle Obama. She regularly speaks to children in local elementary schools and travels the country as a spokeswoman for Shriners Hospitals for Children.

The list of national Jefferson Award honorees for 2011 includes U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, actress Marlo Thomas, former NFL running back Warrick Dunn, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls owner Jerry M. Reinsdorf, and Cell Phones for Soldiers founders Brittany Bergquist and Robbie Bergquist.

"It's just a huge honor," Johnson said. "I will always plan on doing Megan's Mission. My heart will always be with those on the streets and in need. ... It's a part of me."

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