During the course of my 69 years, I’ve been very fortunate to have in my life many wonderful mentors, including  Millie Jeffries, UAW organizer, who inspired me to become involved in my first political campaign; John F. Kennedy.  I was 17, and Millie took me under her wing at a State Democratic convention, along with U. S. Senator Phil Hart.  Thus began my long and amazing political journey.  The most influential political mentor in my life was Senator/Mayor Coleman A. Young, a great political strategist, who had tremendous compassion for People, and always held true to his democratic beliefs.  It was my priviledge and honor to work for Mayor Young in both the State Senate and Detroit, and his greatest message to me was “always remember, politics is supposed to be about Helping People.”  I’ve never forgotten that wise advice.  So many people have guided me along the way; Lt. Governor Martha Griffiths, Governor Soapy Williams, Libby Maynard, Patti Knox, Zolten Ferrency, all strong Democrats who led our Party to the great heights it enjoyed in the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

On a personal level, my Mother, Francis Chappell was and is my greatest aspiration of what a truly good person is. My Mother was an angel, and always taught me that we can do whatever we set our minds to.  Although she only had an 8th grade education, coming from the South, she was one of the smartest people I’ve ever known, certainly the kindest and most caring, and a true Christian who actually lived the Golden Rule.  My sisters and I were so blessed to have her for our Mother.  My father, Clifton Chappell, married to my mom for over 50 years, was also a wonderful mentor. Through hard times and good times, my Dad always took care of our family, taught us how to work, and made me the independent woman that I am today.  

I am forever grateful for those who were such strong mentors in my life, and there are many more, that I will never forget.  Thank you Bob, for the opprotunity to remember them.   

I am so very grateful  

By: Sylvia McCollough

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