Millville Mayor Michael Santiago Visits Thunderbolt Academy

img_0511Millville Mayor Michael Santiago stopped by Thunderbolt Academy in Millville, NJ to talk to the students about his background and his path to becoming an elected official.

Mayor Santiago, who became Millville’s first Hispanic mayor in 2014, told students he was born in Brooklyn, NY and had a negative outlook growing up.

“I continued in the culture of being a snotty kid,” Mayor Santiago said.  “But then I ended up at Rieck Avenue School, where I met some good people there.  I started seeing peers in front of me—great examples like you have here—and I said you know what?  There is something that says to me that I can change and do better.”

After turning his life around, Mayor Santiago spent 27 years with the Millville Police Department.

“I was the first or second Hispanic police officer in the city of Millville,” Mayor Santiago said. “I left the city as not only the first sergeant, but also the first captain.  I was the second highest person in the police department.

The students responded positively to the Mayor’s visit.

“This was a tremendous opportunity for our students,” said Camelot Regional Director Geoff Ashton.  “A lot of our students at Thunderbolt face similar adversity that Mayor Santiago did, and this provides them with a positive role model making change in our community.”

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