CBC My Starting Place - Central Baptist College

CBC My Starting Place


CBC My Starting Place

There are always endless amounts of things I could say about my alma mater. Where do I even start? First, let me introduce myself. Have you ever been to an event, and saw that one guy that was overdressed for the occasion? I’m that guy. Me, myself, and my outlandish style go by the name of Michael Van Johnson.

Memphis, TN

I was born and raised in the Bluff City and yes, I bleed blue for my Memphis Grizzlies. Growing up in a city like Memphis, TN will teach you plenty of lessons. Some lessons are harder than others, but I never would have believed a private college in Conway, Arkansas would take that to another level.

Why I Moved to Conway, AR

Now I’m sure you may be thinking why a guy living in Memphis, TN would ever move to Conway. I’ve asked myself this same question repeatedly, so to explain, let’s reminisce. The year was 2013. I was a senior in high school living my best life. I was committed to attending St. John’s University in New York to play on their soccer team and pursue my dreams in the fashion business. Nevertheless, the idea of going that far away seemed frightening. Then, one day I randomly received an email from a coach in Arkansas saying he would love to have me on his men’s soccer team at Central Baptist College. I’m thinking to myself, “Where is Conway, AR?” After ignoring the email, I didn’t think about CBC again until about a week later when fate stepped in.

A Change of Atmosphere

One evening at soccer practice, and my teammates were sharing where they committed and signed to play the next year. I couldn’t wait to tell everyone I’d be in New York until one teammate next to me says, “Central Baptist College”. Stunned by his response, I choked when I was asked where I was going next. Surprisingly, I begin to like the idea of playing in college with one of my club teammates. As you could imagine, I was in a tough place trying to decide. Then, I finally came to a conclusion. I realized that I lived in a big city my entire life, and it could be beneficial for me to experience a change of atmosphere in Conway. I soon told my teammate I wanted to go with him to CBC. The summer of 2014 we were both stoked for starting our freshmen year. His name was Kyle, and he was my roommate when I lived in the dorms.

My Starting Place

A wise man once said, “the direction in which education starts, a man will determine his future life.” That quote held true from the summer of 2014 until the fall of 2017. Central Baptist College was my starting place. A rush of memories floods my mind when I think back on those days. The countless number of hours in training for practice, or how every day I would sneak in the piano rooms just to play music even though I wasn’t enrolled in music. My favorite times were always either sporting events or fairs that were put on by the administration. I’m too competitive not be involved.

I Was Challenged

Above all, the education I received went far beyond academic. I was challenged to expand my mind and mental strength. I pushed passed physical limitations of my body. I started multiple businesses, and I gained exceptional mentors. Even though my professors probably were sick of me not showing for class a lot, they’ve shown me how to prioritize my life for how I want it to be. They knew I wanted to do something much bigger than the norm.

My Career Today

One professor noticed I had a keen ability to present myself well to groups of people. I use this strength in my career today as Financial Controller for a holding company in Little Rock, AR. Friends and classmates believed I had an eccentric style that could go places. I use this eye for fashion in designing clothes for women and myself.

Shooting for the Stars

During my time at CBC, I was able to see what was lacking in my life. Now, shooting for the stars is the minimum for me.

Join the Mustang Family

Are you looking for a different college experience that will challenge you, like Michael was?

Schedule your visit or apply today at cbc.edu/whycbc.

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