Svante Myrick is an unlikely mayor. At just 24-years-old, the Cornell University grad is the youngest mayor ever to take charge of Ithaca, New York. While many may be shocked that such a young man can rise to the top office in the city, those who know him aren’t surprised.

When Myrick was still an undergrad at Cornell he was elected to Ithaca’s City Council, garnering the suport and endorsements of some of the city’s political power-brokers. Despite his success, everything wasn’t always so easy for Myrick.

Myrick, who is biracial, was raised by his mother and grandparents. Growing up, he and his family often struggled and, at times, were homeless. When Myrick was in high school, his grandmother gave him a copy of Barack Obama’s book, Dreams of My Father, because she thought that Myrick–whose  father was also absent–could relate.

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The book inspired him, and Myrick says he thought to himself, “If this, you know, guy with that name and those ears can do it, then a guy with this name and these ears can do it.”

Myrick is an example to young people everywhere who are faced with seemingly impossible odds. NBC’s RockCenter will profile Myrick Wednesday night at 9pm and share more of his inspirational story.

Would you ever think of running for political office? 

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