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The Teacher | This Jefferson Awards nominee will graduate high school with an associate degree

Abigail Johnson is 15, will graduate high school with an associate degree, is involved in more than a dozen activities at school, and teaches veterans tech skills.

BLUE GRASS, Iowa — Abigail Johnson is just 15 years old. The teen isn't old enough to drive, but that isn't getting in her way of being a productive person. Johnson will graduate high school with an associate degree, participates in more than a dozen activities at school, and runs an organization called Veterans Tech Support.

Johnson started Veterans Tech Support because of her grandfather, Mike Lake. 

"He is a self-proclaimed tech illiterate," Johnson said. 

Johnson worked to help him with technology, but then realized other veterans could benefit from these valuable lessons. Johnson brought the idea to the American Legion Post in Bluegrass, Iowa. 

"The fact that I had the possibility to help them here would be the perfect place to start," Johnson said.

Now, Johnson teaches monthly classes to veterans covering a multitude of subjects. From taking a photo on your phone to cyber security, Johnson teaches it all. So how did Johnson get so knowledgeable in these topics?

"I've definitely learned that it's a lot easier to pick up and learn technology when you've grown up with it," Johnson said. "I've been on the computer since I was practically born."

Navy Veteran Mike Salter agreed, "I learned a lot of things [from Veterans Tech Support] from the passwords and the importance of different navigation." 

So what's the future for Veterans Tech Support and Abigail Johnson? 

"We are about to set up two new locations," Johnson said. "I am hoping to be able to take this as far as it can go, so that I can help as many people as possible." 

Those locations will be in Davenport and Durant. 

After high school, Johnson plans to go to medical school with the goal to become a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon because it's a field important to her. 

"In 5th grade, I had heart surgery at the Iowa City children's hospital and I looked at my surgeon and I was just like, 'I want to be you,'" Johnson said.

You can learn more about Veterans Tech Support by clicking here.

Watch more Jefferson Awards stories on News 8's YouTube channel

What are the Jefferson Awards? 

All over the QC area, there are people who aren't just doing good, but "multiplying good."

Every year, we honor them with the Jefferson Awards, a nationwide foundation that celebrates amazing acts of public service. This year will be WQAD's 9th season of being a Jefferson Awards Media Partner, sponsored by the Good Fee Store, Genesis Health System and Tyson Foods. 

For the next eight weeks, News 8 will showcase our very own nominees from across the Quad Cities. To see all of our nominees, past and present, click/tap here.

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