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

Jim Justice signing a bill
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signs a bill to give teachers a raise.

West Virginia had a problem. Teachers had gone on strike because they were not being paid fairly for their work. Governor Jim Justice would not agree to give them more money. This meant schools were closed and teachers were not teaching. Someone needed to help solve this problem so people could go back to school. Nobody expected it to be a twelve-year-old boy.

Gideon Titus-Glover is a sixth grader. His mother teaches kindergarten. He went with her to a special meeting where citizens can talk to their leaders. In front of a crowded hall, Gideon went to the microphone to ask the governor a question. Gideon wondered, if West Virginia spent more money on teachers, wouldn’t that mean they would have smarter students that would be able to do more for their state?

Governor Justice thought about Gideon’s question. Within a day he changed his mind. He agreed to give teachers a pay raise. He said it was because of Gideon’s question. 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