- Reinventing his hometown
- Age: 22
- School: Stanford University
- Hometown: Stockton, Calif.
- Gender: Male
- Category: Social Activism and Community Service
The Stanford University graduate had a lucrative future ahead of him. But when his cousin was killed, he decided to use his talents to answer a higher calling: re-energizing his community. He co-founded Save Our Stockton, an organization aimed at reducing youth crime, and Phoenix Scholars, which helps local students attend college.
When Michael ran for city council, his campaign started with 12 people in his living room. Soon 40 people were knocking on doors on his behalf, and he received a $10,000 donation from Oprah Winfrey. Michael became Stockton's youngest city councilmember, with more than 60 percent of the vote. "Change isn't going to happen because of elections. It's about getting the community to work on shared solutions," he said.