Nikki Johnson-Huston was born in Detroit to a young single mother. As a young child her family moved to California. After suffering financial difficulties her family became homeless when she was nine years old. She eventually went on to live with her maternal grandmother which proved to be an important step in providing stability in her young life. Although they lived on the limited means of public assistance her grandmother instilled in her a thirst for education and a drive to work hard to achieve the American dream.
Nikki thrived under the supportive although impoverished care of her grandmother and flourished in her public school environment through which she gained a scholarship for college.
After moving across the country to attend St Joseph’s University in Philadelphia she faced additional adversity. Struggling with the transition to college life among more affluent peers she failed out of school after her first year. Determined to achieve her dreams she went back to attend St Joseph’s night school program while working full time as a nanny for Main Line families. She successfully completed her studies earning her Bachelor of Science degree in 1998.
After spending time in the working world she continued to be reminded of her childhood desire to become an attorney. One day, after a particularly stressful day of work she made the decision that she was going to fulfill that goal. She attended Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. She was honored to graduate with three degrees including her JD, MBA and LLM in Taxation all of which she earned in 4 years.
Nikki is currently the founder of The Law Office of Nikki Johnson-Huston LLC, a law practice focusing on Philadelphia City tax disputes for businesses and individuals. Previous to founding her own firm, she spent over 6 years as an Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Philadelphia Law Department within the city’s Major Tax Unit. She serves on multiple committees and boards and is dedicated to providing access to opportunities through education to Philadelphia’s youth through her numerous community activities. She has been honored with multiple awards including the Craig M. Perry Community Service Award, 2009 Lawyer on the Fast Track in Pennsylvania as recognition for her extraordinary efforts towards community improvement and excellence within the law, Philadelphia Tribune 10 Under 40 to Watch in 2010, the Philadelphia Business Journal 2010 Women of Distinction and the 2011 Next Generation of Leaders: Rising Stars. She has also had the opportunity to speak about her background and educational upbringing alongside Dr. Bill Cosby at a Fireside chat hosted by Temple University.
Throughout her life the lessons of her grandmother have guided her to continue to fight through adversity and never give up on her dreams no matter the odds. One lesson that always stood out to her was a simple one, “There is no shame in being poor, but being poor of character”.