Loveland Ohio teen
CINspirational People is a feature of Good Things Going Around profiling diverse people of Greater Cincinnati, what inspires them, and what is inspiring about them. You can read more profiles by clicking on the link at the top of the blog. Do you know someone to suggest? Please reach out. Thanks!
Connor Thomas is a Loveland teen who is driven and passionate when it comes to pursuing goals, and one of those goals is supporting military veterans. In addition to raising thousands of dollars for the Joseph House of Cincinnati and the Disabled Veterans of America, he founded a military club at his high school (serving as its president) that organizes awareness and fundraising events. Recently Connor begun working with the Clermont County Sheriff’s Department to establish the Purple Heart Initiative, a program that provides market parking spots for soldiers that have received the Purple Heart Award. Connor also runs a unique website called My Clermont Military Heroes that honors veterans.
With all of this, he maintains a 4.25 GPA and is an All-Conference athlete playing football and running track.
GTGA: Your two grandfathers served in the military, as well as your great grandfather. Please share about how they have influenced your work for veterans.
Connor: I have reverence for both my grandfathers for what they did for my country, as I do all veterans. They are both supportive and have bought many military items along the years. I did not get to meet my great grandfather, but he had three stints between the Navy and USMC. He was a very disciplined and proud American. I have some of his items.
GTGA: You have so many responsibilities that you excel in – academics, athletics and your charity work. Where does your motivation come from?
Connor: I grew up on a college football sideline and everyone in our family is so competitive. Board games rarely get finished. My motivation is 90% internal. I want to be the best at everything I do to challenge myself to be a better person, so I can continue to serve more or more efficiently, but I was put here to serve. I have raised tens of thousands of dollars for military charities as I love my vets. The 10% is my environment. Nobody would complain seeing me graduate from a service academy.
GTGA: What is one of the greatest life lessons you have learned from your experiences?
Connor: Humility is #1. I see the fellas at The Joseph House and hope they are picking themselves up off the turf. I don’t care how many times I get knocked down, I will always get back up. That is all I know. “Indeserta” Latin for never quit.
GTGA: What words of wisdom do you have for other young people about having goals?
Connor: I’d tell them to set their goals high and plan their course to get there. If you want to be a doctor, you better be a master of math & science in school. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t have something. If something is difficult the price is high, but if you are willing to pay it, you will succeed.