Syrena Johnson

Syrena Johnson


Liberty's Kitchen

New Orleans, LA US

Don't let life go by. Don't be shy, don't be timid. If you want it, get out there and get it.


By Roadtrip Nation

Syrena Johnson


My road in life took a while to figure out.
She was raised in uptown New Orleans, which she calls "one of the grimiest places."
Growing up, she easily could've gone down a bad path, but she always chose to work and stay in school.
Her first job was at McDonald's; she started at the bottom and worked her way up to fine dining.
Looking back, she realizes she was always in the kitchen with her mother; that passion was always inside of her-she just had to identify it.
Now she works at Liberty's Kitchen, a program for at-risk youth that teaches job skills through cooking.
Her dream is to have her own restaurant where everyone who comes to eat can lick their plate clean and leave happy.
For a long time, she thought her hard work would never pay off, but with a little bit of patience, she's been able to see her labor come to fruition.
Says you have to get out there and get what you want: she's 23 years old and living all of her dreams because she went after them.



I am a lead line cook and I run the grill and prepare everything on that station.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Learning / Being Challenged

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Just because you failed at things doesn't mean you're a failure it means you should just try another avenue...

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"Hard work doesn't pay! I've been working hard, but it hasn't paid off yet."

Challenges I Overcame

Gangs / Violence

Interviewed By

Rattle the Cage

Rattle the Cage

In New Orleans, the team experiences the undeterred spirit of the city when they speak to a chef, a graphic designer, a chimp veterinarian, and an alligator wrestler. Later, in D.C., they interview Ben Drexler, who left the non-profit sector to become a poi (fire) spinner. Ben reflects on his bold career transition and urges the road-trippers to find their own burning passions.