Making an IMPACT: Twelve-Year-Old Gets Teachers a Raise

Jim Justice signs pay raise
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signs a raise for teachers.

You may have read about the West Virginia teacher strike and how they managed to get a raise here. But did you know that the person that might have had the biggest influence on the strike’s outcome was a twelve-year-old boy?

Gideon Titus-Glover is a sixth grader. His mother teaches kindergarten. He went with her to a town hall meeting with the governor of West Virginia. In front of a crowded hall, Gideon went to the microphone to ask the governor a question. Gideon asked the governor why the state was spending so much money on tourism when they needed money for education. The governor explained that money spent on tourism was an investment. That meant it would bring more money into the state.

Gideon replied, “If you put money in schools, you’re making smart people. And if you have smart people then you can make more smart investments.”

Governor Justice thought about Gideon’s comment. Within a day he changed his mind. He agreed to give teachers a pay raise. He said Gideon’s comment was the main thing that changed his mind. Everybody was surprised that a 12-year-old boy could change the mind of the governor of a state, especially Gideon. “I knew (the strike) was going to end sometime but I didn’t think I was going to be associated with that. I didn’t think that so it came as a huge surprise.”

Gideon learned that even though he was young, he could make a big difference. “It all makes me feel pretty good to know that I was part of change,” Gideon told news reporters.

What About You? What are some ways that you can be part of change?

Photo Credit: Governor Jim Justice