Lewis Thomas, III

Biographical Sketch

An architect for social change with an innate ability to both influence and inspire, Thomas is one of today’s most gifted young leaders in both the political and educational worlds. Lewis’s powerful reputation as a political organizer have caused many to take notice and rise to the call for social change and community development in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, New York City and abroad. Lewis Franklin Thomas III was born in Philadelphia, Pa., having been raised in North Philadelphia. At an early age, Lewis had a knack for leadership and community service. He attended Mary McCleod Bethune Elementary and Jay Cooke MiddleSchools in North Philadelphia, where he excelled in academics, track & field, student government and debate. In 1992, at the age of 15, Lewis founded the African- American Youth Empowerment Coalition, along with other high school students from throughout Philadelphia. He organized community-service activities and protests, demanding that African-American Studies be mandated in Philadelphia public schools.

Lewis went on to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in History/Secondary Education at Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, where he served as the Student Government President and President of the National Association of Black Student Governments. Upon his graduation, Lewis moved to Washington, D.C., where he served as an aide to former Congresswoman Carrie Meek of Florida and began a successful stint in national electoral politics as a sought-after advisor and campaign manager for candidates across the country. Although Lewis enjoyed politics, he took a break from it and returned to the classroom as an 8th grade Social Studies teacher and Team Leader in Baltimore, Md. He subsequently became a vice principal at the lowest-performing high school in Washington, D.C., where he led the charge to raise test scores and improve student morale. His relativity to the needs of his students, coupled with his experience growing up in North Philadelphia, enabled him to raise expectations and empower students to learn and grow through service and focus on their studies. Lewis has also served as a principal at two successful Charter Schools, where he had well-noted successes including a 99 percent college attendance rate. When Lewis returned to Philadelphia, he immediately began organizing the community around the issues of violence and the lack of educational opportunities in poor and working-class communities. It has been the rich and varied experiences of Lewis Thomas’ life — growing up in North Philadelphia and having the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the world, that provided Lewis with a worldview that encompasses compassion and dedication to the hopeless and dispossessed.

In 2010 Lewis founded a mentoring program Men of North Philly to address the chronic absence of fathers in the homes of young people. Currently, the mentoring program leads programs at five public schools in North Philadelphia with over 50 mentors, many of whom were born and raised in North Philadelphia. For the past ten years, Lewis has distributed holiday meals to over 200 families per year during Thanksgiving and Christmas throughout the 181 st District. He has always felt a deep connection with the people of North Philly and has worked tirelessly to ensure that their interests are represented in the ever- changing landscape of North Philly. Lewis also serves on the Executive Committee of the 14 th Ward RCO. Lewis Thomas, III hopes to lead North Philadelphia in the future as he seeks the
Democratic nomination for State Representative in the 181 st Legislative District in North Philadelphia; the district where he was born and raised.
Lewis is the proud father of 6-year- old Lewis, IV and 17-year- old Miya, his greatest treasures and accomplishments.