It's often said that we are a product of our surroundings. I know someone who blows that theory to pieces. Enter Johan Gjenvick American Faces No. 70. Before he was 18 he moved 20+ times within the state of Minnesota due to a difficult home life brought on by alcohol and a fractured family dynamic. Later in his teen years, his older sister took him in and did her best to provide the young man as much stability as she could.
Sitting next to Johan now, you might find it hard to believe what he went through in those early years. To see him now, a dashing smile, an honest demeanor and an incredible heart to help others. Those kinds of traits don’t just develop by accident. Those traits were planted and nurtured by people who poured themselves into Johan – some when he was young, but others as he matured into the man and father he is today.
This man doesn’t let his past define him. He chooses to provide a stable home and a solid marriage, and strives to be an involved dad to four awesome kids. He also pours himself into the lives of others in his business life as a financial advisor and mentor whenever he can.
I am amazed by people like Johan who aren’t defined by their past but define what the future of their lives are by being the change that is needed in their family story.
I like to close each American Faces story with a challenge. I’ll end this one with this: Go be a mentor, or a friend. Give a smile and an encouraging word to someone who needs it.