Inauguration Day

‘She's Made for This': Kamala Harris' Godchild, Childhood Friend on Vice President's Inauguration

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Vice President Kamala Harris’ godchild and childhood friend were some of the selected few at Wednesday’s inauguration and say the experience was surreal. 

“Overwhelmingly emotional,” said Derreck Johnson, longtime friend of Harris. “I was filled with so much pride and joy. I’m still permanently smiling.” 

Johnson met Harris when they were teenagers and they’ve been close ever since. 

On Wednesday, he was one of the few invited to see her sworn in as vice president. 

“It was an amazing day to watch someone I’ve known since I was 16 years old, grew up with, hung out with, partied with, cried with, gone through ups and downs with in life to be sworn in as Vice President of the United States, and the first female and African-America, Asian, and from Oakland,” he said. “It’s a lot, but it’s amazing. I’m on a natural high right now.” 

Harris’ goddaughter Samantha Cooper was also there to witness the historic moment. 

“There’s so many emotions running and it’s all so much joy. I can’t even get into all of what this represents and what this means for everybody. For me it’s very special,” she said. 

Cooper said Harris is the same type of person she was when she entered their lives -- authentic, thorough, determined, with deep Bay Area roots. 

“With all of the success that she’s still with the foundation of friends she’s had since her teenage years and her early years, they’re still in her life,” said Johnson.

They’re proud to now call their “Kamala” vice president. 

“And for her to have accomplished something so monumental makes me very full. I feel very rich,” said Cooper. “She was made for this job and I really think she’ll make some changes that we’ve needed for awhile.”

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