From The Editors: The 2015 40 Under 40
The Erie Reader is happy to announce 40 people with the will-do attitude we all need to embrace in our latest 40 Under 40 list.
One-hundred and twenty. That is the number of people we've now presented in our perennial feature that profiles forty people under the age of forty who are the innovators, the leaders — the proverbial movers and shakers in our region.
When we first launched Erie's 40 Under 40 two years ago, it was met with enthusiasm — finally, a list that proves young people can and are effecting change in Erie. But not long after the cheers subsided, skepticism introduced itself — could it be done again, many asked? Are there truly enough young, remarkable people choosing to live here, some wondered?
To address those concerns, we simply held up a mirror to Erie, and you answered those questions for us. Through the hundreds of nominations submitted at ErieReader.com, it became evident that daily you bear witness to the many engaged individuals endeavoring to leave Erie a better place than they found it. And of those hundreds, these forty exemplify not the can-do but the will-do attitude we all need to embrace in the names of growth and betterment.
That's not to say that those over the age of forty aren't doing great things, as we make it our mission to highlight individuals and their stories regardless of age in the other twenty-five issues we publish each year. Youth, though, reminds us of the replenishing that comes with change and the potential it brings with those who dare to conceive new dreams, to learn new things, to try new and different ways to spur progress.
We were 35, 34, and 26 years old as 2010 drew to a close, and we were about to launch an independent, alternative publication in Erie, Pa. We had studied the models in other cities, and were already in the process of establishing a brand that would become Erie's local voice for news, arts, and culture. We were becoming small-business owners, and investing everything we had in this city.
Four years later — and with two of us exiting our thirties — we all still believe that Erie is a great place for young people to make their mark. We're just as proud of these forty individuals as we are of our first. And we remain confident that with these people — and their fellow alumni — brain drain doesn't stand a chance at withering the innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit that's flowing through Erie.