Reviews of From Refugee to Doctor

“Our transcendence is making ourselves available to advance God’s purpose through us. In this, we can experience peace of mind in the face of storms and unbelievable pain and stress.”

Dasherline Cox Johnson’s memoir is a living tribute to her quote. We follow Dasherline as she grows up in Liberia and experiences the brutality of the war. She reflects on the pivotal forces that shape and influence her growing up–her grandmother, uncle, her determination to grow and develop, and her relationship with God. She reflects upon and finds her way through that war, extreme loneliness and illness, immigration, finding herself amidst new cultures, marital distress, professional development, and raising children in a racist world. Her memoir is both powerful and tender as she makes God the bedrock of her foundation.

Dr. Diane Rubright, PsyD., LP

Dr. Johnson’s book was riveting – it kept me reading for hours non-stop! She addresses multiple areas that people can relate to- the impact of war, her long struggles with her mother, and her beautiful relationship with her grandmother. It reveals her sheer willpower to acquire her education, overcome the impact of racism, and grief among other topics. Through it all, the writer was able to hold onto God’s unchanging hands to get her through difficult times. Dr. Johnson helps readers learn the importance of therapy, the power of prayer and forgiveness, and unconditional love.  The message in this book is very clear-it shows that no matter what you go through in life, God has a purpose for each one of us. This book encourages little brown and black children to keep working hard towards their dream. That there may be roadblocks, but through perseverance, faith, courage and love, they will make it as the author did. I hope the author writes another book to address in-depth the struggles African immigrants face when acclimating to new /western culture and how to handle those struggles.  It’s a great book, and I’m looking forward to reading more from this author in the years to come.

Shadlyn C. Bourne MA., LPCC

Dr. Johnson’s account of her life’s story is intriguing, captivating and sometimes emotional. It is indeed a masterpiece of this young woman’s journey of fleeing from her war-torn Liberia as a refugee and becoming a Doctor of Psychology in the United States of America. Her brilliance throughout this book is invigorating. She persevered despite the many obstacles that she faced. Her grandmother’s nurturing and upbringing prepared her for the long sometimes tumultuous journey ahead.

Dreams are never shattered if one continues to persevere in the midst of all odds while trusting in God. Dr. Johnson was very determined to accomplish her dreams and speaks of the obstacles, she faced. She had to flee her home though fierce fighting and take shelter in strange places. She speaks highly of her grandmother who taught her Christian values, humility and kindness to mankind. The story began in the foothills of Kpain, Nimba country where she was raised until age 10 when she moved to Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia. It continues in the great United States of America. In the United States, she faced more challenges such as racism. How amazing! Who would have imagined that this story would end up so beautiful? She speaks of the relationship with her mother, which was not always pleasant, but ends well. They are now closer than previously and pray together.

This book was interesting to read as it provided great encouragement and inspiration. It captured my interest from the start to the end. It is full of different plot of Dr. Johnson’s life and her perseverance. The plots of fleeing the war brought flashbacks of my own life as well. Her relationship with her children is amazing. It is obvious that she is following her grandmother’s footsteps as a family advocate.

Her past relationship with her mother was emotional for me, and at times I became tearful. I also felt that she should not have included some excerpts about their relationship, but quickly realized that this was her truth, part of her life’s story that needed to be told. At the end of the book, she spoke of how she and her mother rekindled their relationship. This was wonderful.

Everyone reading this book will be encouraged to keep pursuing their dreams as Dr. Johnson did. She beat all odds. I will encourage all to read this book. It will change your perspectives on life. Life is tough, but never give up!

Dr. Priscilla Korto Tyler, DNP, CRNP, RN

Dr. Dasherline Johnson, a young lady born to adversity, yet bound to advantage. Her story is inspirational. This book is simply “soul-enriching.”

Rev. Dr. Samuel E. Vansiea