Whitmer gives Muskegon Heights teen national shout out

Muskegon County

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Muskegon Heights teen is getting national attention after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gave him a shout out during her response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.

This came after Monte Scott’s mother damaged her car last winter while driving on their pothole-riddled street. She says it happened near Maffett Street and E Summit Avenue.

“He saw how upset I was and how much money it was going to cost me. Not every family has the means to do a $900 car repair,” said the 13-year-old’s mother, Trinell Payne.

Scott decided to take matters into his own hands and fill the potholes himself. It was caught on video by a neighbor passing by and has since gone viral.

“I don’t want something to happen to somebody like what happened to my mama because what if they don’t have the money to get their car fixed? How will they get to work? How will they take their kids to school?,” asked Scott.

The deed caught the attention of Whitmer, who invited Scott and his mom to the state of the state last week. During her speech, she gave Scott a shout out and talked about his initiative.

“When she called my name out, I was like, ‘wow! The governor mentioned my name in one of her speeches.’ I didn’t know that such a small deed could go big like it did,” Scott said.

Things didn’t end there. Tuesday night, Whitmer mentioned Scott again while speaking in East Lansing following Trump’s remarks on Capitol Hill.

“Together, we have boundless potential and young Americans are proving that every day by taking action. That’s what I want to focus on tonight,” Whitmer started. “Monte Scott is 13 years old and lives in Muskegon Heights, Michigan and his street was riddled with potholes. They were ankle-deep. He got tired of waiting for them to get fixed, so he grabbed a shovel and a bucket of dirt and filled them in himself.”

Payne, who works at a nonprofit, said she’s so proud of her son and his caring spirit.

“He just has a heart of service and he saw a problem and felt like he could fix it. He inspired a whole community to rally behind him and not just our community but even the state and the governor,” she said.

Monte says while potholes are the issue that sparked all of this, he has plans to tackle even bigger issues like prison reform and finding solutions for homelessness when he runs for office one day.

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