Michael has always felt a call to a position of leadership; as the descendant of late, great Baptist Pastors Willie Lee Abernathy Sr. and Jr, and a distant nephew of the Civil Rights icon, Reverend Ralph David Abernathy, Michael’s commitment to leadership is part of his family’s legacy.
Michael was born in Cincinnati, Ohio to two hard-working parents; his father worked as a City of Cincinnati bus driver and his mother was an entrepreneur. Together, they raised Michael to respect the value of pursuing an education and serving in one’s community.
At 16, Michael went to work in service of his community, volunteering as the president of a community group for at-risk inner-city youth that offered positive recreational activities. Though the program was largely successful and touched the lives of over 100 kids, the tragic and untimely death of one student due to gun violence spurred Michael to work even harder. Michael took his dedication to the community further and became a sworn Cincinnati Police Officer. As a police officer, Michael enjoyed working with the families in his assigned jurisdiction, and was commended as a relevant community servant-leader.
In 2006 Michael moved his family to sunny Arizona, and in 2011 he began his undergraduate degree at Arizona State University studying Communications. Michael joined the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated that same year, allowing him to further serve the Phoenix community through several key Phi Beta Sigma initiatives such as mentoring high school students, registering citizens to vote, and leading networking programs.