Using Technology To Empower The Community: The Interview With Sosacramento.com Founder Marcus Johnson

 

Understanding the importance of unification is one of the key elements in creating a healthy and productive community. With everything that has been going on in the country lately, now is the time to do it.

That’s why it’s a must to highlight platforms like sosacramento.com!!

After talking to the creator & founder Marcus Johnson, one thing was clear:  Sosacramento.com will not just be a great website, but a training ground for brother’s & sisters who are interested in learning about the technology it takes to make the website operate smoothly

During our interview, we talked about his relationship with his father, his motivation behind going to college, future plans for sosacramento.com and much more!!!

 

 

Talk to us about the Dynamics of your household growing up?

I grew up with my mom and my dad, but my dad spent 12 to 15 years of my life in and out of prison. That was up until I was about 18 years old. He got out for good around the time that I graduated from high school. When he got out he had more kids as well, so I have three younger sisters on my dad’s side

So, I spent a lot of time with my mom. She had to do it by herself since my dad wasn’t available. However, when he got out we did spend a lot of time together. He would take me all around the streets of Sacramento showing me things, giving me the game. But it was definitely a struggle for my mom.

She did her best to take care of myself as well as my two younger siblings with no man around to support her. I did have my grandfather who came around and did his best to give me fatherly support in his son’s absence. He was an engineer who worked for Caltrans and actually encouraged me to enter into the field of technology.

 

Speaking of your father absence, was it difficult attempting to have a relationship with while he was incarcerated?

As a child, I never understood the importance of having a father around, so I never really felt neglected. I didn’t understand the benefit that kids who see their fathers all the time had. I talked to my dad frequently on the phone and I would always go to visit him, so it didn’t feel like too much time was lost.

As a kid, growing up in an urban community and not knowing any better, having a father in the penitentiary was kind of cool. People knew who my dad was, so I felt protected in a way. Unfortunately, going to jail in our community often times brought respect and sometimes even admiration for the person locked up.

How is your relationship with your father today?

We are cool. We have our ups and downs like all father-son relationships but at the end of the day, we love each other. I accept him for who he is, and he accepts me for who I am.

 

Do you have children?

I have two kids. I have a daughter who is 15 years old and a son who is 6 years old.

 

What’s the biggest thing you learned watching your mother and father go through and how do you apply those lessons to your parenting?

The biggest thing I would say I learned is, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how fly you are or how much game you got. If you live that street life, it’s a possibility you could be taken away from your family forever.  Thinking back on my youth, I would have rather had my dad be flat broke and be there for me instead of chasing money and not being around.

So, for me, that’s one of the reasons why I went to college. I wanted to put myself in the best position possible to be successful. To do that I had to apply myself and get into the best school I could. At the end of the day, I wanted to show my kids that going to college and living your life the right way will give you the best results. I also realized the best gift I can offer them was really just my presence.

That’s a good point. Typically, the street life only ends two ways…. death or jail. So, let’s talk about your business for a moment. What is sosacramento.com?

Okay, while I was still a student at USC I use to throw parties and was really into the nightlife. When I graduated I got an IT consulting job with a company called, Accenture which was based in Los Angeles, CA. That job allowed me to travel places I’ve never been before. I was able to go to Canada, Minnesota, Atlanta, New York, just to name a few cities.

So, when I traveled to these places I was away from family and friends and it was hard for me. Most of the time I was the only black person on these projects. It was a challenge getting integrated into the cities and figuring out how to move around. It was difficult attempting to find out where things were. Whether it was finding a club or restaurant, I just didn’t have the information about the city. So, I made it a point to learn each city I went to, regardless of how much time I was there.

Some places I would stay as little as six months, sometimes two years. But my advantage was I got to do all of this on the company’s dollar. I know for most people when they go on a vacation it’s a little bit different. Your funds may be limited and your only there for a few days which may make it difficult to find something you really like. You may even end up wasting some of your time trying to find out what to do.

So, since I’m from Sacramento I wanted to create a platform that would solve that problem when people visit, and even for the people who live here already. I want people to be able to navigate and know about Sacramento. That’s another thing I learned from traveling, a lot of people didn’t know where Sacramento was located. Most of them thought Los Angeles was the capital of California.(Laughs) I just wanted to try something different and show people all that we have to offer here. The website sosacramento.com is just my way of exposing that.  

 

So, tell us about your future plans for the site and how you think it will benefit the community?

So, currently, I work as an IT consultant. I’ve noticed that there’s only a small number of African Americans that are actually in the field. A lot of us don’t know about these jobs that are available. My future plans are to work with people in the urban community an expose them to the IT field.

I want to provide them with opportunities to work on my website. I’m teaching them how to edit videos, film videos, use social media to market themselves and just get them familiar with what goes on behind the scenes. I think it’s important that our community take a serious look at these careers. There’s definitely been a shift in the economy.

Coming from the Industrial Revolution when the main focus was on building new forms of infrastructure around the country, which provided jobs for the working class. However, now we’re in technology-based revolution and we must equip ourselves with the right tools or be left out of the job market. 

Also, we want to eventually act as a talent agent to a degree. There’s a lot of talented people here in Sacramento. We want to help them reach their goals. So, those are my plans for the site. Work with great people from the community and introduce them to a new job market that they may not have been aware of.   

 

Connect with Marcus:

 Facebook:

@So Sacramento

Instagram:

@Sosacramento

Website:

sosacramento.com

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