LeShawn James is the youngest person ever elected to Gregory Math and Science Academy’s Local School Council — a reflection of the 26-year-old’s realization at an early age that his calling was public service. His role models were his father and grandfather, both pastors in the family’s Lawndale community who were deeply committed to helping the underprivileged. James is a product of Chicago’s public schools, where he attended Gregory Elementary School and Hyde Park Academy High School. He graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a degree in political science. While at Eastern, he was a member of the school’s mock trial team, which placed 5th nationally in 2005, and of the Model Illinois Government program, where he participated in simulations for the state’s legislative branch. He’s volunteered as a youth outreach worker and in political campaigns for alderman, judge, state’s attorney and county board president in Chicago and its suburbs.