I was a junior at Penn State when I met Michael Black during one of his art events. Two years later, I find myself ardently involved in a mayoral campaign and invested in the provincial workings of State College. Admittedly, my interest did not venture past Beaver Avenue before knowing Black. Yet here I am, committed, excited and firmly believing that he is the natural leader who’s more than capable of inspiring people of all ages to discover new interests in their town. Successfully tapping the minds of millennials, like myself, is nearly impossible. No matter, it is as powerful as it is beautiful that he’s been able to energize many in this demographic to contribute to community discussion and become actively involved in making it better.
He’s not mayor yet, but I foresee Black gathering council, bringing in this underrepresented population, getting them involved in projects related to their studies, putting a piece of themselves into this town and subsequently garnering a sense of belonging. All of the student interns, myself included, that he’s brought in are hard-working examples of university talent who were inspired by his vision and spirit. Every one of us can speak to this man’s ability to reach incredible people and get them motivated to put out great work in this world. We need more of this here, but without people like Black, this void will worsen and potential will be lost. So, please be sure to vote Nov. 7.
Gretchen Killmon, State College