By Adedamola Agboola, blackenterprise.com
Hanif Johnson knows the trials and tribulations young people face. As a teenager, Johnson ran afoul of the law on different occasions and was imprisoned three times. Even as a student at Penn State University, Johnson, then the president of Omega Psi Phi was charged with assault in connection with a hazing allegation that earned him three weeks in jail. Although he wasn’t found guilty of the most serious charges, a judge still handed him two summary harassment charges.
“It’s crazy because I know how it feels sitting across from that judge and that jury when you’re innocent,” Johnson told the Huffington Post. “I went to jail for two weeks, then I went to trial. Thank God I won. That was one of the happiest days; I just felt like my life was going to be taken from me.”
He did turn his life around, though. Now, 27, he is the youngest elected judge in the State of Pennsylvania winning the magisterial seat over Republican Claude Phipps by a 73% margin in Dauphin County. The Harrisburg native, who began his six-year term in January said he decided to run for office because he knew if he wanted things to change, he had to get up and do something.