The new mayor of Dorchester, Ryan Woods, says he's always on the go and ready to lend a helping hand to his hometown. While the 24 year-old Dorchester native says he enjoys an occasional movie or a game of golf, what pleases him most is community service.
On May 17, Woods hosted a dance at the Blessed Mother Teresa school, which raised over $17,000 [Woods collected a total of $24,259 for the Dorchester Day Parade] earning him the honorary title - Mayor.
Reporter: Where did you grow up in Dorchester and go to school?
Woods: I was born and raised in the Savin Hill area and went to school at BC High and later graduated from Saint Michael's College in Vermont.
Reporter: What's your favorite memory of growing up here?
Woods: I have a lot of fond memories growing up in Dorchester from going to various community functions, like fundraisers, to going to see baseball games at McConnell Park (in Savin Hill). But the best days were walking down the street and knowing all your neighbors by name and having them smile and wave back at you. Dorchester is a pretty tight-knit community.
Reporter: Why did you run for Mayor of Dorchester?
Woods: I have been going to the Dorchester Parade for years now and have always wanted to be a part of putting it together. To me the parade is about celebrating the place I was born and raised and the place where I will continue to live - it's a tribute to my love of this community.
Reporter: How did you celebrate your mayoral win?
Woods: A group of us went back to my friend's house in Dorchester and had a small cookout. That night I just enjoyed being with my family and friends, but the real celebration is on May 30 when we have the Chief Marshall Dinner.
Reporter: How have your friends and family responded to you being Mayor of Dorchester?
Woods: Everyone is very supportive. They have stood behind me for the whole thing. Selling tickets, attending all the events and cheering me on. It definitely helped having them there, because while the race was fun, these last six weeks was a lot more work than I thought it would be and I couldn't have done all this without them.
Reporter: How did you raise so much money?
Woods: We held four different fundraisers. Besides the dance we had karaoke night at Phillips Old Colony House, a scavenger hunt in Adams Corner and the Anchorman tournament at Peggy O'Neil's. But the dance was mind-blowing because over 300 people attended (at a twenty dollar cover charge) and we got a one-day liquor license, so the bar was a huge hit. We also had a couple of raffles and a live auction - before I knew it we had raised thousands in just that night.
Reporter: What do you plan to do with the mayor's role?
Woods: Until recently, I never realized how much time and effort in took into organizing this parade. It takes a lot of dedication, not only to pull this event together, but also to keep our community functioning. I want to raise awareness about the importance of being engaged on the efforts of improving our systems and neighborhoods. I want to get people involved.
Reporter: What are your career ambitions?
Woods: I'm not sure, right now, exactly what I plan on doing career wise. I went into college with no clue what field I was interested in - so I chose psychology [has a degree in psychology and a minor in Spanish].
All I know is that I love working with people and I love working for the community that is definitely my future.
Reporter: Since being crowned mayor what is your schedule? Are there any projects you are currently working on?
Woods: Well, I'm still working at CF Donovan's Pub; I've worked there for the last seven years. I'm also working with the department of Parks and Recreation. But, mainly right now I am working on the parade. I am so excited. It feels great to be able to do my part and give back to society.