When We All Vote
3 min readMay 7, 2024

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This Teacher Appreciation Day, When We All Vote proudly celebrates My School Votesamazing educators who are shaping tomorrow’s future leaders. Today, we shine a spotlight on Mr. Padraic Mullin, a passionate Social Studies and Language Arts Teacher at Renaissance High School in Detroit, Michigan. His dedication to his students inspires us all to strive for positive change every single day.

Is there an educator (including you!) you know who is committed to civic engagement? Encourage them to become a My School Votes Ambassador TODAY!

What inspired you to become an educator, and why is it essential for this work to be done in your community?

After high school, I enrolled in college, following the expected path. Simultaneously, I was deeply involved in coaching youth hockey and absolutely loved it. Working with those kids, teaching them skills and life lessons while having a blast, felt like the perfect fit for me. It was a blend of worlds — my mom was a dedicated educator for 35 years, so education was always part of my life. This mix of coaching and education seemed to click, guiding some of my later career choices.

What’s the most rewarding part about being an educator?

For selfish reasons, working with students makes me youthful and eager to learn. They’ve taught me patience and the value of being a good listener. On the flip side, I have valuable life lessons to offer, which I share through teaching English Language Arts and social studies, the subjects in which I specialize.

How has your life personally been impacted by voting? Does a specific moment stand out to you?

Back in the 80s, as a college student, I vividly remember Reverend Jesse Jackson visiting our Wayne State campus in Detroit. During a significant voter registration push, I was shocked at how convoluted and unnecessarily complicated the process was to register to vote. It became clear to me as I got more involved in community and local politics, that this was by design, and it reflected systemic racism and economic bias, which was disheartening to witness.

What about your community brings you joy? What is your favorite part of being an Educator?

I’m deeply rooted in Detroit — I work, live, and play here, loving the urban vibe that keeps me grounded and accountable. The students here are incredibly sharp and motivated, making teaching a joy as I share my vulnerability and inspire them to lead and engage with their community.

Beyond education, I’m passionate about urban gardening and working with projects like The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative. I give back to the community and teach valuable lessons about food security and equity. Detroit’s shift from a food desert to a vibrant food hub reflects the power of community action and learning from our urban environment.

What’s your final message to your students and fellow educators?

Get involved locally, whether with your immediate community, neighborhood blocks, council members, or community initiatives. That is where real change is experienced and meaningful change begins. While state and federal elections are crucial, the impact is truly felt at the local level.

There are no off years in democracy, so join us as we stand up for voting rights. You can get started today by registering to vote (weall.vote/register), texting three friends (weall.vote/check), or by taking action (weall.vote/take-action).

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When We All Vote

We’re shaping the promise of our democracy through voter registration and participation. Because #WhenWeAllVote, we can change the world. WhenWeAllVote.org