Phoenix Navajo teacher nominated by friends wins Pay It Forward award

Pay It Forward is sponsored by America First Credit Union and Super Star Car Wash
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 5:16 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - We Paid It Forward to Freddie Johnson, a treasure to the Navajo community in Phoenix. “When Freddie teaches, he doesn’t just teach vocabulary; it’s a very beautiful translation. It’s like poetry when he is speaking. He teaches the root word, he teaches the cultural implications of the word. I married into this family so I just have been very lucky to see Freddie in action,” said Lacey Arizona, who nominated him.

Freddie does it all; he’s an artist, translator, bow maker, teacher and father of six kids. He works hard to share his knowledge with Navajo citizens who have moved away from the reservation. Because of his hard work, Lacey and his friends wanted to Pay It Forward to him.

So Arizona’s Family crew and Freddie’s friends walked up to him and surprised him with the gift. “We just feel like you have really enriched our lives. They gave us this to pay you back for all the enriching you have done in our lives,” said Arizona. “It’s our Pay It Forward award for awesome people like you, Freddie,” Horton added.

Freddie is a true mentor to other Navajo community members, and his hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. He was touched by the recognition. “This is beyond me. This is something I will remember. It feels good to be appreciated. Cause a lot of time you donate your time, I was told give what you can and don’t expect anything in return,” he said.

If you would like to nominate someone for our Pay It Forward award, fill out a nomination form on our community page.