Recently, I heard that a Winston-Salem State University student won the Democratic nomination in a Winston-Salem City Council race in North Carolina. This is a pretty big feat in itself, but how he accomplished it is even more amazing.


Derwin Montgomery is a senior political-science major. According to the Winston-Salem Journal, he’d run for president of the Student Government Association twice, and lost both times. But when the opportunity came to unseat a city councilwoman, he took the chance.

Montgomery figured, since voter turnout in the city’s primaries were typically low, he’d have a good shot at winning if he got students to the polls to vote for him. He used the power of Facebook, friends, and face-to-face contact to garner support.

And sure enough, he won.

Results from the Forsyth County Board of Elections showed Montgomery got 440 votes. That’s more than the total number of people who voted in three of the other six primary races.

The final numbers in the primary were Montgomery 530 to Joycelyn Johnson’s 228.

Now, without a Republican or Independent challenger, Montgomery will run unopposed for the East Ward seat.

Talk about departing to serve.

Every new Ram at WSSU is taught they must “enter to learn, [and] depart to serve.” It’s the university motto. I learned it. The classes before me learned it. And the classes after me will continue learning it. But how are we living it? Most students spend their years college trying to figure out how they’re going to serve their community. Some also spend many years afterwards trying to come up with a plan. But to make your mark before you’ve even departed. Now that’s inspiring.

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