Each year the national magazine, The Root, recognizes young African American men and women who are forging a path for future greatness. These young people are recommended by teachers, mentors, advisers, employers, and associates. They are all between the ages of 16 and 22 and have been distinguished in areas of social activism and justice, enterprise and corporate innovation, science and technology, green innovation, and arts and culture.
This year, Frankel Patient, Jelani (James) Young, has been recognized as a Young Futurist.
James was born with the urge to change lives one smile at a time. He was nominated by a family friend because of his community service efforts and strong academic success. Since a young age, James has been a member of Toledo Excel, which is a group of students that focuses on civil rights, human rights, and leadership. When James was 9, this group traveled to South Africa. Here James helped a struggling adoption agency and his eyes were opened. He discovered that people from other countries could live so comfortably and happily but with so much less than what Americans possess. This trip inspired him to continue to give back to the Toledo community. Today, you can find the 16-year-old volunteering at local food banks and clothes give-a-ways, helping the needy and homeless.
James also has time to be a normal teenager. He attends St. John’s High School where he is a member of the track team. He is very dedicated to his track career and trains with another Frankel Patient and UT Hall of Famer, Dorian Hooker at ProDay Training Center. (You can read about Dorian Hooker by clicking here- http://toledodentistnews.com/patient-profile/jon-frankel-dentistry-patient-and-university-of-toledo-hall-of-famer-dorian-hooker-knows-speed/ ) He is also inspired by Jesse Owens, the Ohio State and Olympic track star that overcame racial objection and achieved international fame.
In the future James looks to continue his social activism efforts. He is currently examining possible colleges with Michigan State University and the University of Kentucky topping the list. He hopes to study sports management or psychology, but has aspirations to continue volunteering in the community and may begin counseling.
James is truly honored to be recognized as a Young Futurist, and believes that it has rejuvenated his desires to reach his dreams. “This is the biggest thing that has ever happened to me,” he said.
Once recognized in the online publication, the real contest begins. The Young Futurist with the most social media following receives a $500 scholarship. Therefore, to help James win, you must do your part by clicking on the link and encouraging your friends and family to also click by sharing it on your page. There are less than two weeks left. James is currently in fourth place! Let’s help him win!
CLICK HERE! Then Retweet or share on Facebook!