**Editor’s note: This article contains opinions and commentary by the author.
Mount Pleasant resident and recent Case High School graduate Trevor Jung heads to college Friday, but he’s already planning his return to Racine County after he gets his degrees.
Jung is going to major in both urban studies and freshwater policy at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and bring his degrees back home to put his education to work for his community. He said both areas of study will serve him well.
“We’re on the lakefront and in an urban environment so I think the combination is a good choice for what I want to do,” he said. “They will help give me the tools I need to make a difference either working for a non-profit or as a public servant.”
At just 18 years old, Jung is a political veteran. He volunteered during the 2008 and 2012 campaigns of President Barack Obama and during the 2012 campaign of Democrat Rob Zerban in his challenge of Congressman Paul Ryan. This summer he worked as Zerban’s personal aide and scheduler, and whether or not you agree with his politics, there is definitely something to admire about Jung’s energy, drive and deep commitment to his community.
Former Case High School Principal Jeff Eben told me that Jung is the most unique student he’s met in his 35 years of working in education.
“I have yet to meet another young person – or many adults for that matter – with as tight a grasp on the issues as Trevor,” he said. “He has the deepest commitment to his community that is just amazing, that I haven’t seen at any level in government, and I worked in government for four years. He’s just totally aware, you know?”
Jung said Eben continues to be an inspiration after Eben guided Jung through four years of high school at Case.
“He’s just brilliant, and he turned Case into a place of education,” Jung said. “He did really good work in Racine and we all benefit from it. I learned a lot from Mr. Eben and feel fortunate to have had him as my principal for my years at Case.”
The respect is mutual. Eben said he thinks Jung just might be the leader Racine needs to turn the tide.
“I’m a Republican and we didn’t always agree, but what always impressed me was that Trevor is the real deal, and people need to know that about him,” Eben added. “I can see him being the guy to turn it around in Racine.”
Jung also looks up to Zerban as an inspiration because there are similarities in their stories; both were raised by single parents and share the view that when the tide rises, all the boats float. Jung was adopted from Krasnodar, Russia, when he was two by Scott Jung, a local business owner.
“His story is one of pulling himself up and working hard first as a small businessman and now running for Congress,” Jung said of Zerban. “I really want him to succeed.”
Jung might only be sure that his future involves living and working in the greater Racine area. Eben, however, believes Jung has a future in leadership.
“He told me once that he wants to manage campaigns, but that’s not going to happen because he’s going to be the one the campaign’s about,” Eben stated. “He’s only 18 now, but by the time he’s 24 or 25, he’ll be the one to watch.”
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