Ty’Quan Graves is the youngest member to be elected to the Danville Public Schools Board. He also is a member of the Social Service Advisory Board, and the Project Discovery Board all while majoring in Elementary Education and minoring in Special Education at Averett University. Graves works at the Danville YMCA as the coordinator for the off-site after-school program. He serves on the Career and Technical Education Board as well as the Adult Education Board.

Ty’Quan took time out of his busy schedule to chat with us about being labeled a young professional.

SM: What does professionalism mean to you?

TG: Professionalism is the way you carry yourself. It’s a combination of being trustworthy, dependable, and treating people with respect. I try to be all of these things.

SM: Who or what inspires you?

TG: My family and the children I’ve worked with have inspired me to be a better person and to continue to strive for greatness. I want to be a champion for our city’s children. I want to be someone young children can look up to and be inspired by since they inspire me. I attended my first school board meeting while in sixth grade. After that, I wanted to be a part of the school board. Not only do I want to give back to the system that educated me, I also want to make a difference. The children count on me. I am not going to let them down.

SM: What do you admire about your community?

TG: I admire the way our city pulls together to make things happen, particularly the partnerships that exist in Danville. There is a strong bond between the city and the school system. In recent years, the two elected bodies have worked well together. Danville succeeds when we all work together toward a common goal. I believe we are moving in the right direction. I admire the community engagement investments done by community partners, such as the efforts of or new police chief, Scott Booth, and many other community organizations.

SM: What do you like to do in your downtime?

TG: I love to coach basketball, workout, and attend athletic events. I am committed to the city of Danville and I love to work with our children, so even in my downtown, I’m usually doing something with the youth.

SM: What’s the best piece of advice you have for aspiring young professionals?

TG: Work hard. Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard. There are no limits. Do not get outworked.

SM: Where do you see yourself in five years?

TG: I see myself being the best educator I can be. Engaging students to relevant learning and motivating them to be the best they can be. I feel very fortunate to serve our city and plan to keep giving back in any way possible.

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