Extended Family



For Release:
July 8, 2015                                   

                                                           For Further Information:
Nina Kessler


Extended Family® Grant Award Recipient, Roosevelt,
With Three of His Sons.

Roosevelt Car
No More 2-Hour Commutes To And From Work
On Trains and Busses


Woodland Hills, CA – July 8, 2015 – Roosevelt’s dream of being a stand-up comedian and playing comedy clubs across the country was abruptly put on hold in 2009 when he suddenly became a single dad.  Roosevelt’s wife was no longer able to care for them and he became a hands-on, full time, single dad to Andrew 12, Jason 9, Daniel 7 and Joshua 5. Years later, when asked, Roosevelt said, “I did what I was supposed to do, gained custody of my boys and became the dad I needed to be.”

Because Roosevelt needed to be present for his young sons, the comedy circuit took a back seat. Starting over, with four boys and no real job prospects was not a small undertaking.  In the beginning, Johnson was barely able to earn enough to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. He got in touch with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services program and was assigned a social worker. The social worker referred him to Los Angeles Trade Technical College where he enrolled in their culinary arts program. 

Cooking and Roosevelt were a great fit, and he excelled at his art. In the spring of 2012, Roosevelt graduated from Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC), with a grade point average of 3.5. He was the graduation speaker of his class of 800 students. All of his sons were present for his graduation and joined him on stage as he was awarded his diploma. During his speech he told the audience, “My boys look up to me, they expect the most from me.” Current students at LATTC are also privileged to have Roosevelt to look up to, as he is now teaching at the school.

Although Roosevelt was doing much better and the environment for his boys was much more stable, money was still very tight.  Extended Family®, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rewarding hard working single parents, was made aware of Roosevelt and his boys through a phone call. A call placed by Jason, Roosevelt’s teenage son, who found Extended Family® by searching online for help for single parents. Jason told us a little about his family and that he was calling to see if we might be able to fulfill his birthday wish.  Jason wanted only one thing for his birthday, to spend more time with his dad. He explained that his dad worked really hard to take care of him and his brothers. He described a typical day, where dad didn’t get home early enough to have dinner with them. Some days he only had a few minutes to give his dad a hug, and go to bed.  The reason, he explained was that his dad had to take public transportation and it takes a long time to travel from downtown Los Angeles to their home in Winnetka.

Extended Family® contacted Roosevelt and told him what his son had told us and asked if he would consider completing an application for assistance, which he did. During the reference checking portion of the application process, the accolades we received regarding Roosevelt - his work ethic, dedication to home, family, work and school - were both confirmatory and remarkable.

Extended Family® was proud to be in a position to make Jason’s birthday wish come true. Roosevelt was rewarded with a car and is now driving rather than taking trains and busses. Those all important family dinners are now taking place on a regular basis. Although he enjoys being a chef, Roosevelt hasn’t given up his pursuit of a career in comedy.

Rewards, such as Roosevelt’s, wouldn’t be possible without the support of donors. Extended Family® is a 100% volunteer organization that is fully funded by the generosity of individual and corporate donations.


For more information about Extended Family® and/or to make a donation to help families like Roosevelt’s, please visit: www.ExtendedFamily.org 

For more information about Roosevelt’s family and/or for additional information about Extended Family® contact Nina Kessler at 818.937.3766 or NKessler@ExtendedFamily.org.

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