Influential, Influential, Influential

Hello, today this honorable award will be given to its rightful owner. A man, a leader, a dream, and everything in between. Mostly known for the character, Lucas, whom he played in the Netflix Original Series, Stranger Things, Caleb McLaughlin is much more. He’s a singer, dancer, and a great role model for young black men who are thinking about acting. Even if you aren’t thinking about acting and aren’t black, Caleb is still a great influential person to look up to.

In the early stages of Caleb’s life, he loved to try new things and dance was something that he took seriously. He studied dance at Happy Feet Dance School for about a year and then at Harlem School of The Arts under Aubrey Lynch. 

It was when Caleb was a child that he got into acting. He’s performed greatly in many film related things. But for what everyone knows him for, he was cast as one of the main characters of the show Stranger Things; a show almost every kid and teenager has watched.

One of my aspirations is to be an actor when I’m older so it shows me that people like me can do things even when that community doesn’t contain people like me. Usually, the caucasian race is heavily featured in the film industry but he gives me the courage to keep going with my aspiration. It’s people like Caleb that put a smile on my face because he’s done what he studied in school while also trying new things throughout the years. 

Although he’s great with acting and dancing, Caleb also has a career doing music. Yes, Caleb actually makes music. The songs that he makes aren’t bad either. They usually talk about life, love, and things he’s gone through. It’s calm and relaxing to listen to his music while doing homework, chores, etc. I love music and I love supporting young black musicians like Caleb. It’s multi-talented people like him that give me the courage to try out new things, see if I like them and to always keep pushing myself to go no matter what. 

In 2020, Caleb became the youth ambassador for the USA cycling team saying, “Let’s get more kids on bikes.” which is something that kids and teens should think about doing. Although phones and games are addictive- which teenagers are tired of hearing- it’s a great opportunity for kids to connect and TikTok not being the only thing they worry about. And with more kids on bikes and telling their friends about it leads to a better generation. And with a young black man with other young black men looking up to him, it gets them interested in their communities. When we have young black men, like Caleb, setting an example for others with the same cultural background, it’s good for everyone because it teaches the younger generation, Gen Z and under, to not be a follower, set examples, and do good things.

Jeremiah Walton – Culver Academies – DMSF Class of 2026

Picture Credits: Gage Skidmore