The winning Kid President tee is now available! Kid President 2040 was designed by Joe Bradley of Columbia Missouri. Find out about Joe’s design, how he is inspired by Kid President and how he’s going to use that $1,000 to make someone’s year more awesome!
Tell us a little about yourself! (interests, favorite cartoon, least favorite pizza topping, song you can't get out of your head) When it's nice out and I'm not working, you’re most likely to find me chasing a little white ball on the golf course. I get hooked on a new TV show just about every week, most recently being House of Cards. Other favorites include The West Wing, How I Met Your Mother, LOST, Parks & Rec and Modern Family. I’ve gotten pretty good at making homemade pizzas… just don’t ask for any vegetables on it. I love playing pub trivia, goofing off in a sand volleyball league and shouting the words to any Michael Jackson song when it plays on the jukebox in public. Currently though I can’t stop listening to Mirrors by JT. That song is so catchy! I’m a sports fanatic and love rooting on my alma mater, the Mizzou Tigers, as well as cheering on the Creighton Bluejays and Chicago Cubs from afar.
Joe’s victory celebration
What drew you to the Kid President Challenge? I don’t remember where I first discovered the Kid President Pep Talk video, but I immediately sent it on to my sister who lives in D.C. We’ve been Kid President fanatics ever since. We both set our computer backgrounds to Kid President quotes. Mine says “It’s everybody’s duty to give the world a reason to dance.” It helps me get going in the morning. The kid is doing such amazing things at a young age, inspiring people 10 times his age to get up and do something. Hopefully the t-shirts can help spread Kid President’s message to just a few more people. My parents really instilled in me from a young age a desire to volunteer in the community and do something meaningful with your life. I’m glad Kid President is sharing that message with a new generation of kids.
Besides submitting to this challenge, are you doing anything special to make the world dance? I currently have the privilege of mentoring four Little Brothers in Columbia through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Three of them I meet with once a week at their schools where we get to play basketball, board games, iPad games and work on homework. But most importantly we get to build our friendship and talk about any problems they might be having at school or home. My fourth Little Brother is part of the community-based program and we get to do a lot of fun things around town together like bowling, golfing, roller skating, and watching our favorite movie Despicable Me over and over again. I never had any biological little brothers growing up (although I did have one fantastic sister) and so it’s really cool to have so many of them now. They mean the world to me. I’m also really lucky to have a boss who allows me to take off in the middle of the day to meet with these kids. Thanks Rebecca Gordon!
Besides mentoring, I also teach a religious education class for kindergarteners at the St. Thomas More Newman Center. It’s such a blast. We mostly read Bible stories, play Saints Bingo and make crafts (including Pope puppets not long ago!). I also get to play Santa Clause in the Christmas pageant every year, which is awesome!
I also enjoy volunteering at the local Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House and Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen.
Whose year will you be making better by giving them $1,000? When I sent out an email to all my friends and family asking them to vote for my t-shirt in the contest, I told them that if I won, I’d award the $1,000 I get to give away to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri. I’m sticking to that. It costs roughly $1,000 to support each Big/Little match. Obviously with my Little Brothers, it's an organization that's very dear to my heart. I had the opportunity to work there for two years as an AmeriCorps Member and got to interview new volunteers and match them with their Littles. It was a special job. If the money can help match just one more kid in the community with a caring mentor, then it’s totally worth it. Maybe they can put on a fun event for the kids, too.
What does winning this design challenge mean to you? I can’t even describe for you how excited I was to receive the news that my t-shirt had been selected. It was the first Threadless contest I had entered, so I wasn’t really holding my breath. I’ve got to admit, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t receive the news from Kid President on his tin can phone, but maybe that’s because my tin can phone has been disconnected since 1995. My sister was able to talk to Kid President briefly at the White House Easter Egg Roll, so I’m still pretty jealous of that. But really, I’m just so thankful to Threadless for teaming up with Kid President for this awesome competition. I’d also like to thank my buddy Victor Tran for giving me the idea for the t-shirt design. I’m really hoping this encourages more people to look into getting involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters because there are thousands of kids across the country waiting on mentors. I’m hoping that in a few years maybe me winning this t-shirt contest means more to a kid I’ve never met before than it did to me.