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CALVIN SEARS, 17

Calvin Sears is a writer from Ypsilanti, Michigan, who utilizes his off-kilter sense of humor to discuss all subjects, both serious and trivial, that matter to him. His short stories have been published in four volumes of the OMNIBUS and in a chapbook, I Rode My Yak to School, all published by 826michigan, a writing and tutoring center serving Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Detroit, Michigan students. Sears has participated in their programs since he was a middle school student.

In 2015, as a 13-year-old student attending drop-in writing sessions with 826michigan, Sears interviewed Ypsilanti mayor, Amanda Edmonds. With some preparation help from 826michigan tutors, he led a 90-minute conversation with the Mayor in the tutoring space. He led a discussion on crime, poverty, education, and more, in relation to the state of his home city. In 2016, he interviewed Alex Goldman from the podcast Reply All for a piece published by Pulp, an Ann Arbor arts website.

Sears is most passionate about fighting discrimination of all types, but particularly fighting economic inequality and the disparities in economic opportunities offered to different groups of people. At his high school, Sears competes in speech and debate forensics and enjoys public speaking. His biggest hope for the youth is that they will be listened to by those in power. He feels that those around him are well-informed on issues of global importance, issues that are more likely to affect their generation than those that came before. Yet youth are continually pushed aside just for being young and "inexperienced". If people in power were more willing to listen to the concerns of the youth, he believes the world would unequivocally be a better place.

Sears aspires to attend the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor and major in Economics with hopes to use that knowledge to help alleviate income inequality and improve economic development in his community and beyond.