Our Student Leader Would Lead Baltimore
Remembered in Brooklyn as a NSBE Force, Calvin Young III Announces a Run For Mayor
Calvin Allen Young III (BS Mechanical Engineering 2010), a School of Engineering alum who went on to earn an MBA at Harvard University earlier this year, declared his candidacy for the mayor of Baltimore on August 18. Young, 27, is running as a Democrat and would become the city's 50th mayor If elected in 2016.
Although the path from engineering to business administration and then politics might seem unusual, Young describes the connections as natural: "MechE is all about making things move in ways they would not without our intelligent intervention. The MBA teaches how to be strategic and economic to meet a need," he says. "That combination is exactly what we need in political leadership today."
Young comes from modest means. Born in Baltimore, he was raised by a single mother with three other children. Young began his career at the School of Engineering in 2005, when it was known at Polytechnic University. Like many other students, he took calculus and introduction to engineering. That first year, he joined the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and he became president of the local chapter in 2007. While at the School of Engineering, he was also a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and served as a resident assistant.
In 2010, Young was named a regional chair of NSBE, national finance chair in 2011, and ultimately served as president of the national organization from 2012 to 2014. As a mechanical engineer, he was also in the Operations Leadership Program at United Technologies Corporation, then accepted positions at Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky Aircraft, and Milton Roy. He finished most of the coursework for a master of science degree at the School of Engineering before completing an MBA at Harvard in 2015.
Alumni remember Young’s time at the School of Engineering fondly. Leah N. Williams-El (Technical and Professional Communication, 2007) says, “Calvin is a true role model who proves greatness can be achieved, especially with hard work and diligence." Christian A. Thomas (BS Computer Science, 2013) remembers meeting Young during the 2008 accepted students dinner. An incoming student meeting the local president of NSBE, Thomas recalls Young’s infectious advocacy. “His very first words to me were, ‘Are you here to make positive change? Good. We are going to get you involved on campus,’ ” Thomas relates. “As impressive as his determination is, Calvin's defining trait is his ability to alchemize the potential of those around him into leadership,” he remembers.