It can be challenging to find reasons to be optimistic on election day. In recent years, political rhetoric has gotten progressively more divisive. Our social media timelines are filled with vitriol. If not pertaining to politics, then regarding local sports teams (at least if you live in Ohio). Contentious campaigns have even struck my tiny and insulated home town this year.
But I’ve found a few reasons to feel optimistic about the future! Namely the young kids coming of age this decade that will be steering the ship (so to speak) in years to come. I’ve chosen to feature the two individuals below because they both have BIG things happening this week and also happen to be the children of friends. Not having children of my own, it’s been surprising how excited, proud and invested I’ve felt with regard to their efforts!
Mike Kahoe; Candidate for Revere School Board, 2019
Today is a big day for Mike Kahoe. By late evening he should know the results of his first political campaign. An 18-year old student at Revere High School in Bath, Ohio, Mike is the youngest candidate running for elected office in the state of Ohio.
UPDATE: Congrats to Mike on not only winning a seat on Revere School Board but for garnering more votes than any other candidate! Way to go!
While tender of years, this young man is certainly NOT lacking in experience! He’s attended national political rallies/conferences, has volunteered on an Ohio congressman’s campaign, has helped coordinate a football clinic for the developmentally disabled and has taken part in a medical mission to Ethiopia. Did I mention he’s a great student, on Revere student council and is an accomplished high school athlete?
What did your life look like at 18?
Mine certainly didn’t resemble anything like this!
Check out the profile that our local ABC affiliate ran HERE as well as his Town Hall conference that was held in conjunction with the other school board candidates below.
Tim Reed; Founder, T-Strong
The second young adult doing great things with his life is Tim Reed. After overcoming acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the age of three, Tim decided as a young adult that he wanted to give back to all the people that supported him through those tough days in the hospital. In early 2019 he founded T-Strong, a volunteer based 501c3 non-profit organization created to raise money to benefit children fighting cancer in Northeast Ohio. He’s been getting this venture off the ground with the help of family and friends while he also works full time.
I want to bring joy to the children who are battling cancer in Northeast Ohio hospitals and that is why I created T-Strong.
Tim Reed, Childhood Cancer Survivor and Founder of T-Strong
The organization’s first major fundraising event is coming up this Saturday, November 9th, at Buckeye Woods Park in Medina, Ohio. They are hosting a 5K run/walk to raise money to buy toys, sports merchandise, and video games to give to children fighting cancer in Northeast Ohio. An officially timed event, the first male and female participants to complete the race will receive a large gift basket!
Registration closes at 11 PM Wednesday night (November 6th) so if you want to participate, sign up soon HERE. If runs aren’t your thing but you want to lend support, you can follow their social media pages on both Facebook and Instagram. Want to go a step farther and make a donation? You can do that HERE.
Just Two of Many
The two individuals that I profiled today are exceptional reasons to feel optimistic about our futures but they by no means stand alone. The child of another friend was discouraged by the poor lunch choices at his school so spoke up and got them to provide healthier offerings. Another friend’s child works to support LGBT youth in the area. I could go on and on.
I challenge you to look around and seek out young people on your timeline or in your neighborhood that are harnessing their youth and optimism to not just dream, but to actually initiate some sort of change! Even if you don’t agree with their cause, support the involvement. Don’t underestimate the ability for encouragement and optimism to be contagious! And, oh yeah, if you haven’t already…get out and VOTE.
What’s that? You were hoping for a more political post? Then check out this piece from 2018.
Thanks so much for your likes, shares, and follows! Until next time,