Famous Friday!

FAMOUS FRIDAY: Svante Myrick  – “This Guy’s Gonna be President One Day!”

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A few months back, my Mom attended the Opportunity Nation conference in Washington, DC where leaders from many different sectors came together to work on the problem of youth unemployment. There were all kinds of important people there, including Senator Cory Booker and the mayors of Philadelphia and Birmingham. But when Mom returned home she was not talking about any of them. Instead, she was excited to tell me all about a guy I’d never heard of before. His name is Svante Myrick and if you believe my mom and a lot of other people, he’s going to be President one day.


Like me, Myrick’s mother is white and his father is black; he grew up with three siblings and he loved to read as a child. Even though he had some tough times in his childhood, he did well enough in school to go to Cornell University, an Ivy League school. He began his public-service career though volunteering when he was a student. Myrick was elected to Ithaca New York’s Common Council when he was just a 20 year old college junior.  He served on the council for four years before running for mayor. When Svante defeated three other candidates to become mayor of Ithaca in 2011, he became the city’s youngest mayor. He is still one of the youngest mayors in the U.S.


Svante has done a lot of important work as a politician, like creating tobacco free zones and the Ithaca Youth Council. When he became Mayor, the city had a budget deficit of more than $3 million but in just two years he had closed the budget deficit and brought about the lowest tax increase in years. A lot of people compare him to President Obama.


Svante obviously knows that young people like us can really make a difference. “When somebody questions your age, it’s not that they’re wondering if you’ve had enough birthdays to do the job,” he said.  “They’re wondering if you’re dedicated enough, they wonder if you know enough [ ].  They wonder if you have the experience it takes to get things done and if you show them those things, then the age is just a number.”

When Myrick graduated from high school, he wrote a note to his favorite teacher. “P.S. In 2040, when I’m president, I’ll keep you in mind for secretary of education,” the note read.

There are many people who would like to see him be president much sooner than that, but he won’t be old enough to be eligible to run for several more years. Myrick has said that another multiracial politician, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, is his role model.  Well, Svante Myrick is definitely one of mine!

by Karson Baldwin, President, Project RACE Kids

— Never too young to serve!


One Response to “Famous Friday!”
  1. Kelly says:

    This guy is so smart and capable. Truly impressive.

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