The Fur Vault at Assembly on 400 Granby Street buzzed with energy, filled with young faces eager to make a difference.

That’s the scene at the inaugural meeting of the Hampton Roads Gen-Z Commission. These aren’t your average young adults – they’re a powerhouse of talent and ambition, ready to shake things up in their community.

As introductions were made and a collective mission began to take shape, it became clear that these folks mean business.

Wally Schmader, the Baby Boomer among them, spoke of breaking stereotypes. Isaiah Smith poured passion into expressing his dreams for a future where Gen-Z thrives in Hampton Roads.

Cameron Taylor champions economic inclusivity with her every word.

But it wasn’t all talk. Inspired by Kip Poole’s passion for sustainability and youth empowerment, the group got down to brass tacks. They brainstormed potential opportunities to actively listen to and address important challenges facing their generation, from educational programs to hands-on experiences in local businesses for those Gen-Z who weren’t following the well-worn path.

There came a tangible sense of excitement in the air as they each contributed a voice to the vision of a mutual mission: to hear and address the most pressing issues facing Gen-Z in Hampton Roads. It’s a simple yet powerful goal that unites them all.

With their mission set, the commission wasted no time getting organized. They set up communication channels, scheduled their next meeting, and set the groundwork for sketching out plans for the future.

A whirlwind of activity — fueled by shared determination to make a difference.

As the meeting wrapped, a collective sense of purpose filled the room like morning mist.

These young leaders know they’ve tapped into something special, something that could change lives in Hampton Roads for the better. And they’re not about to let that opportunity slip away.

The story of the Hampton Roads Gen-Z Commission is a reminder that change doesn’t happen overnight – but with passion, persistence, and a little bit of teamwork, “tomorrow” doesn’t have to be accepted as an answer.

These young leaders are proof that the future is bright for Hampton Roads, and they’re determined to make it shine.