“While there is a chance with young people, let’s expose them to things that would benefit them down the road.”
There’s magic in an American road trip, but the trips organized by Mike Weaver have a special kind of alchemy. For the past six years, Weaver, 52, has brought together teenagers, college students, parents and retirees from Atlanta and his hometown of Aiken, S.C., to travel to other cities to volunteer, visit colleges and learn from one another in a program called WeCCAAN, or Weaver and Concerned Citizens of Aiken/Atlanta Now.
“I wanted to do something different,” Weaver says. “I wanted the teens to be able to talk to the college students. The college students to talk to the young professionals. The young professionals to talk to the midcareer professionals. The midcareer professionals to talk to the retirees — for all these generations to talk to each other, but also to work side by side with each other.”
“While there is a chance with young people, let’s expose them to things that would benefit them down the road,” Weaver says.
Weaver, the youngest of seven children raised by a single mother, grew up in Aiken’s housing projects and later a lower-middle-class neighborhood. As a student at Morehouse College, he worked as an after-school counselor in what was then one of Atlanta’s most violent neighborhoods. After graduation, he became an administrator for nonprofits before earning a doctorate in public health.
Weaver now runs his own educational consulting firm in Atlanta, is married to a public school educator, has three sons and describes himself as a “where-the-rubber-meets-the-road professor.”