"Be Unhealthily Optimistic," Says FCPS Alum and Olympic Gold Medalist

By Office of Communication and Community Relations
For Parents
February 22, 2023

Trevor Stewart is known for many things in his 25 years of life so far; Fairfax County Public Schools and North Carolina A&T State University alumnus, track athlete, Olympic medalist, and creativity, to name a few. In honor of Black History Month, FCPS had the privilege to interview Trevor.

Trevor graduated from South County High School in 2016 and credits FCPS with helping to give him a strong sense of self. His education gave him the understanding of “what's expected and how to better yourself and the people around you.”

Trevor wants to help other young people find their personal voice and sense of purpose. His time at FCPS helped him not just on the track “but also with time management, how to use your skills, and how to work in the off-season,” Trevor says. He also learned goal setting and the importance of holding himself accountable both on and off the track.

When asked how attending a Historically Black College/University (HBCU) impacted his upbringing, Trevor said he immediately felt at home when he stepped onto campus. “I felt safe and able to let go and enjoy life. It gave a lot of insight into who I am."

Trevor running

At the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Trevor received a gold medal in the men’s 4x400 meter relay and bronze in the mixed 4x400 meter relay. When describing winning at the Olympics, Trevor says, “It didn’t hit me until I received my medals. You want to show the emotions, but you’re unsure how. Just pure happiness and pure bliss.”

Trevor’s heroes include Tommy Smith, a track star and activist; Daryl Harris, his coach before the Tokyo Olympics who ran his home track club; and Tellas Minor, his math teacher at FCPS that looked out for him in the classroom and in life.

Trevor relay racing

When asked what advice he would give to young people that view him as their hero, Trevor says, “I’m not a hero. I’m just a person, but I’m always here to help. Always do your best.”

Just like everyone else, Trevor faces his own personal struggles. He notes that his main challenge is stability. To combat this, he always holds himself accountable and is as “unhealthily as optimistic as possible.” When he’s not mentally feeling his best, Trevor will remind himself, “It’s going to be a good day. Maybe not a great day.”

 Trevor Stewart

Trevor’s immediate future plans are to “run, run, run,” while still remembering to prioritize fun with his bright sense of optimism. After his running career, Trevor hopes to write books about cognitive thinking and how to engage people from a mental aspect. 

“Off the track, I want a nice quiet life; to be viewed in my career as one of the best, and [to know] that my work ethic was always 100%. I want to be viewed as a well-rounded individual."