At just 22 years old, Andre Mills travels the country doing keynotes, training, seminars and even one-on-one coaching as a motivational speaker. But now, Mills has begun a new journey: he's on a mission to become the next mayor of his hometown of Balch Springs.
"Every single one of you got a vehicle that will take you from point A to point B if you take a advantage of the opportunities that you have in life," Mills said to a group of high school students.
Mills has been creating something special within people across the country for the past five years. Telling young adults, parents, coaches, and even educators his story of being a once rising star in basketball, until a sudden injury ended his dream at 17.
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"I was ranked top 20 in the state of Texas, and top 100 in the country by scoutsfocus.com," Mills said.
He says his world was destroyed.
"You start to place a meaning behind that title. And I placed a meaning within myself, that I'm a basketball player. I'm a basketball player," Mills said. "People telling me, 'you're a basketball player, you're an athlete. And that's all you're ever going to be.'"
Mills' book, "Ball Is Not Life," talks about his road to self-discovery, and finding his purpose in life. He was able to do that with the motivation and guidance of a mentor, which led to his calling of inspiring thousands across the country.
Now he believes his run for mayor of Balch Springs for the 2019 race, will bring people together in a unique way.
"In a way, that might have never been done before, because I think what that does is that opens the minds of those who see something like this as impossible and that opens the minds of those who probably sees this as impossible for themselves," Mills said.
Mills wants to light a fire under his community with the help of city leaders already there.
"And I want to be able to reinvent new possibilities and implement new possibilities and new opportunities and policies within a community that’s already great just the way it is," Mills said.
And at 22, if Mills wins, he would become one of the youngest mayors in the country. He sees this as an opportunity to prove to some, that his age is just an opportunity to inspire and enlighten a new generation.
"If it’s up to me to create the change that I want to see in the world, then this is just another platform that is going to allow me to be able to do exactly that," Mills said.
Mills will officially file to run for the mayor of Balch Springs next month. As of writing, he’s in the process of structuring his campaign, and learning more about the city and its challenges.
The mayoral election will be held in May 2019.