Following Your Father’s Footsteps

By Betty Lavandero

With a thick South Carolina accent, Tanner Young is not whom you would expect him to be. “Fleetwood Mac is probably my favorite band,” he says about the 1960’s British-American rock band. “My dad and I love that kind of music and he was the one that got me into it. ‘Go Your Own Way’ is probably my favorite song.”

Music isn’t the only area where his father has influence.  As a senior public relations student, Young is less than a year from graduating, and his next big step in his life? Entering the work force by joining his father’s janitorial business.

Young’s father started his journey in the business by knocking on doors and asking to clean people’s homes for whatever money they could offer. “It shows you that hard work can get you anywhere. It started as a small company and now he cleans huge businesses like the State Museum. He has had to go through the same process as any other business,” he says.

Young says that, so far, his greatest failure was not being accepted into the University of South Carolina. “Being from the Columbia area and having parents that are hardcore Gamecock fans, not getting in was pretty tough,” he says.

“If it was up to me I would have gone straight into the work force, but I knew that my father wanted me to go to college and I just wanted to make him proud.” After completing two years at Midlands Technical College, Young is on track to graduate from USC with a bachelor of arts in mass communications and journalism with a minor in marketing. As a result, his greatest failure has become his greatest accomplishment.

He finds that the business side of his dad’s corporation is why he is attracted to the company. “I love the idea of business and marketing. I know I could take the company to new heights,” he says. “In five years, I see myself pretty high up and making the important decisions. In this political climate, it’s hard being a business person, but my dad has set a great example in everything he does from his hiring process to his leadership styles.”

Young’s favorite book is “To Kill a Mockingbird.” “It was one of those books you read in English class that ends up affecting you more than you think,” he says. He references the story’s themes of racial inequality and the endearing lessons the novel teaches you by the end. “It’s just a great example in standing up for what’s right,” he says.

“Atticus Finch knew the right thing to do and I think we can all learn from that, especially today. We can all revert back to this story. Today, we are judging people, instead of looking at who they are and what is right.”

Lavandero is a public relations senior

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