Not every hero starts out as one. Johnathan Thrower had to learn the hard way what the troubled youth in North Charleston need to succeed.
Massive food drives, championing for the most vulnerable and giving a voice to those without one are just some of the ways that Johnathan Thrower is using his experience to pave a path for others.
“I started off like troubled youth, you know like, I was into drugs, guns, anything you can imagine,” said Thrower.
This led to some serious consequences, at a young age Thrower went to prison. But that is when his beaten path started to straighten: “While I was incarcerated, I did a lot of studying, a lot of research,” he said.
As he waited out his sentence, education began turning Thrower’s life around. He started teaching GED classes behind bars, he says realizing just how many of his fellow prisoners were illiterate opened his own passion for teaching.
“When people have a means to educate themselves and grow. That’s really going to help to cure poverty,” said Thrower.
After time in prison, Thrower walked out a man on a mission, making sure no one fell into the same path that he did. The headquarters for this mission, the Community Resource Center of North Charleston.
“Try to help make better thinkers, better problem solvers, better listeners, better conflict resolution oriented type people,” he said.
It went beyond teaching. Soon enough, he was helping people dress for success, and learn to defend themselves in safe ways without weapons. And now, a new passion.
“The food drives, right? When COVID hit… it was like the numbers tripled overnight, so we opened the door, now we have like a thousand people, 6-700 cars, two people per car, two families, and it’s like how in the world. In this district, in this area that were in, it’s one of the most severely impacted areas, all you got to do is walk around, all of this area, and you can see we are in the middle of a food desert. You know, there’s no grocery store for miles,” he explained.
And he is not done yet.
Thrower says that in 2021, he looks to continue to fill the voids, adding courses to teach trades like fixing cars and installing H-VAC units, harnessing his life experience to change the course of young and vulnerable lives.
“When you look at it from an aspect of resources instead of deficiencies, you see that a lot of people are really gifted and talented, but they just don’t have the resources to show their potential and what they have.”
The North Charleston Community Resource Center updates their website and Facebook with information on upcoming classes and food giveaways, as well as ways to donate to support their mission.