Born leader Michael Weaver adds White House HBCU Initiative Competitiveness Scholar to accolades
Kentucky State University student Michael Weaver Jr. wears so many hats they need their own closet. The responsibility doesn’t weigh the smiling graduating senior down, however.
As one Kentucky State employee recently said, “If I were doing any better, I’d be Michael Weaver.”
Weaver recently joined an elite group of students – one of 63 students from 107 institutions across the country – as a White House HBCU Competitiveness Scholar.
As a result, Weaver is in Washington D.C. this week for the 2018 National HBCU Week Conference. The conference is part of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The conference is designed to help the scholars learn and adopt promising practices in areas such as leadership, professional development, national competitiveness and workforce development.
“I feel prepared. I feel excited,” Weaver said. “I’m ready to really showcase Kentucky State University.”
Weaver said his selection is even sweeter because it’s the second time he applied for the honor. The first time around he wasn’t chosen.
“I think I better prepared myself and I had a lot of help with everything,” Weaver said.
Weaver has emerged himself in activities outside the classroom while maintaining a positive and composed exterior.
He’s also the president of the Kentucky Education Association student program.
“I just ran for the position because I wanted to make a change,” Weaver said. “Especially with the lack of African-Americans in the field of education.”
Weaver was elected and is the first African-American male to serve as president of the student program.
Part of his responsibilities includes hosting three statewide conferences throughout the school year that cover topics ranging from classroom management to the school-to-prison pipeline.
Weaver also played the role of the Tin Man in last spring’s production of The Wiz.
“That role taught me a lot about believing in myself and being OK with being vulnerable,” Weaver said.
Weaver was elected Student Government Association president at Kentucky State last spring, as well.
“I really want to make sure that this executive board and myself as president are doing things to help move the University forward,” Weaver said.
With that role, Weaver also earned a seat at the table as a student regent for the Kentucky State University Board of Regents.
“I thought it was going to be boring but it’s a lot of fun,” Weaver said. “You’re really engaged and as a student you have to figure out how everything relates back to the students. I like knowing I have a voice and that it matters.”
In addition, Weaver serves as vice polemarch for Kentucky State’s Kappa Alpha Psi chapter and he is part of a consortium for HBCU presidents.
And if that is not enough: Weaver recently started the SGA Presidential Proteges program, selecting 12 students for a leadership course that he conducts.
“They meet throughout the week and on the weekends,” Weaver said. “I teach them how to be a leader and, most importantly, how to be a good person and how to believe in themselves.”
Despite the responsibilities, Weaver remains composed.
“For me, I stay grounded in my faith,” Weaver said. “It’s just a matter of reminding yourself that you’re here for a bigger purpose every day.”
Weaver anticipates a December 2019 graduation. After that, he plans to continue pursuing his dreams.
After landing a graduate assistantship and earning a master’s degree in educational leadership, Weaver wants to earn a doctorate in higher education.
“My goal is to be the youngest vice president at a school,” Weaver said. “Then my goal is to become one of the youngest university presidents ever. I’m on track.”
Weaver’s short-term goal is to represent Kentucky State well.
“Everything I do is for Kentucky State,” Weaver said. “I really love Kentucky State.”