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One step at a time towards success

By John Anderson

AndrewCouncil_04_webAlthough he is from a small town by the name of Robersonville just outside of Greenville, North Carolina, that hasn’t stopped 16-year-old Andrew Council from dreaming big about making a difference in the world.

It was clear that being interviewed was new for Council. At first he appeared shy, looking down at certain moments and often taking time to collect his thoughts, but he also had a sense of determination.

Council said his dream to change the world stems from the good relationship with his parents and the lessons they instilled into him. “I have a good relationship with my mother and my father,” said Council, “They taught me how important religion is and how you should always keep a relationship with God and also find something that you’re good at.”

Council seems to have found several things he’s good at, sporting 13 activities that he takes part in during the school year and the summer. Asked which was his favorite activity, he responded, “Can I have more than one?”

He narrowed down his answers to two: student government, because he likes having a voice in what his student body does, and band because of his love of music.

Despite being clearly talented in multiple activities, Council was humble during every moment of his interview. “I know everyone has separate talents and stuff, and I believe that each person should find that talent and let it thrive,” Council said.

Council may be gifted, but he experiences adversity like every student. He expressed a concern that many minority students have in America; he is worried about his opportunities being stripped away due to discrimination by society.

“I sometimes think that, like, some teachers and some adults view physical attributes instead of trying to get to know you,” Council said in a solemn tone “They just see how you look and how you appear as, like, the African American male in society, and they don’t really trust you with higher authority. And it’s hard but you just gotta get through it sometimes.”

His concern of being profiled is valid. He is slim with chestnut skin and a serious face. Without knowing him, one may believe that he is introverted and unable to take charge. Council has proven through his success in school that this notion is inaccurate.

Council is a young man with a lot on his mind. One thought that he said often arises is his future.

“Like, sometimes it makes me scared because see I live in a really small town, and we have like one factory in my town that like if you don’t go to college, that’s where you’re going to work or whatever,” he said, struggling to complete the thought. “And that’s always on my mind. I need to do this and do that so that I can try to get out of here.”

Although this may seem to be a bleak future, Council uses the idea of being trapped to encourage him to pursue his endeavors.

“And then on the other hand it kind of makes me excited thinking about what I wanna do. And like, I get excited when someone asks me what I want to do for a living,” said Council.

Asked what he wanted to do for a living, Council responded that he wanted to be a field journalist. He said that he wants to travel the world, reporting different stories. His eyes lit up for the first time while he was answering this question. His excitement for his future was clear. He truly does want to make a difference in the world. And with his passion, it is a goal that is in his reach.