Growing up in Logan County – one of the highest coal-producing counties in the state and also one of the poorest – he felt that not enough of the hundreds of millions of dollars generated each year by extraction of the state’s mineral assets was being kept in the state to support its young people, its future leaders.
Justin’s idea was simple: A higher percentage of West Virginia’s coal and gas revenue could be set aside to invest in the education system, and to help provide more affordable college education for every West Virginia student.
That’s where we came in.
The Our Children, Our Future campaign listens to the great ideas of young people like Justin, and then gives them the resources, support and advice to turn those ideas into real legislation. Legislation that changes lives.
Just a few months later, Justin testified in front of 300 state lawmakers and citizens, and lobbied legislators on behalf of the Future Fund, which would create a mineral trust fund for West Virginia.
As a result of Justin’s advocacy, and the work of other proud West Virginians just like him, Governor Tomblin signed the Future Fund bill into law in March 2014.
That’s Student Power.
Can you see yourself as part of a Student Power Movement in West Virginia?
Take this small first step and visit our Student Power Movement webpage to learn more: ocofwv.org/StudentPowerMovement
You might be surprised at the impact it could have on your life. Ask Justin.
“Try something new. Whether you’re very outgoing or not, you can be the reason that change happens in your community. I would say this to people my age too. We can be involved in the work, too. Be a positive influence for the next generation.”