Percy Whitmore breaks barriers as the youngest electoral candidate for MCC's Board of Trustees

FLINT, Michigan — A local activist seeks to break down age barriers by running for Mott Community College Board of Trustees in November. Percy Whitmore, who was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and now lives in Flint, comes from a bloodline of activism. His parents have focused on education throughout their careers, giving Whitmore a first-hand perspective of the impact of a quality education.

He aims to be effective on the Board of Trustees by making genuine connections with the communities served by Mott Community College. In this role, Whitmore plans to give a voice to young adult populations whose opinions are commonly overlooked in corporate spaces.

Whitmore expressed his desire to target workforce development and the betterment of youth around Flint. In doing so, he hopes to inspire others to pursue similar opportunities. Whitmore graduated from Mott Middle College and went on to become a Flint Promise Scholar in 2019, receiving full tuition to the University of Michigan- Flint. Here, he earned a bachelor's degree in Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

The hopeful candidate sat down with Flintside to not only introduce himself to the community but to invite other innovators to join his movement. 

Flintside: Who is Percy Whitmore?

Percy Whitmore: "I have come into the role of activism and am in a position to redefine what help looks like for our community. I have seen what it looks like to be an innovator from my family members. That set the tone for me to take that initial step out of the box, to get into the streets and the community to make a difference. When I graduated high school, I didn’t even know what direction I wanted to go.

I’ve learned that I am always willing to think outside the box which has been my journey. It is a full circle moment with me now running for the Mott Community College Board of Trustees because I hope to provide a lot of connections and relevant, contemporary strategies to the board that will make things work in favor of the student body in Genesee County."
Percy Whitmore.
Flintside: What do you think it takes to be an effective member of the board?

P. Whitmore: "An effective member indulges themselves in the community that they serve. I have heard negative connotations associated with being a board member. People think it’s a bad thing to run into a trustee but I want to change the narrative of what people see a trustee as.

One of the main things I am addressing is ageism. Right now, the youngest person on the board of trustees is 56 years old. Ageism is a real thing, especially in this economy. A lot of young adults don’t see themselves as qualified when compared to older colleagues, but most of the time, we have just as much experience.

So many young adults are innovators and may not even realize it. “The innovators are coming” is my slogan this year. I hope that I am waking up some innovators that may not have considered doing something like this before." 

Flintside: What would you tell other young adults who want to break out of “boxes” and get away from limitations?

P. Whitmore: "Have a full understanding of what you want. What is your plan? I was just speaking with my pastor from Church Without Walls and he said the difference between a movement and a moment is sacrifice. The only reason I am where I am now is because I have sacrificed a lot of time. With sacrifice, you must be able to identify yourself and your core values. I had to solidify myself and my personal relationships then establish connections with people in my inner circle and present healthy boundaries to protect what I am going after."

Flintside: How can the community support you?

P. Whitmore: "I need the community to support me by joining my movement. You can visit my website and there are also ways to donate listed on there as well. You can follow our blog and engage and interact with us. We are also open to feedback to help us to continue bringing the community together and to continue to bridge gaps."

Flintside: Is there anything else you would like the community to know?

P. Whitmore: "I am grateful for the city of Flint. For all the bumps and bruises because I can look back and see just how far I’ve come. I can look at my legacy and realize how blessed I am. I am also grateful for the people I have around me, and I am so grateful for my city and the community of Flint overall. Take notice, the innovators are coming!"

For more information about Percy Whitmore, visit:
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