SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Samuel Snider is the mayor of Willard, Missouri, and says nothing should stand in the way of success.

“Now, I am 26 and when I was elected I was 25,” said Snider. “Honestly, I would say it helped. I think when voters are trying to pick somebody with fresh ideas and somebody with a little bit different perspective and so I think that helped me.”

Snider is one of the youngest mayors in Missouri and he is one of the only people of color ever to hold such a position in Southwest Missouri.

“It has been great, the Willard community has been very supportive and we are an all-inclusive community,” said Snider. “Whenever it comes to me being elected and being the first person of color elected as far as anyone can remember, I think it is important.”

Being elected shows a sign of change, not just in Willard, but throughout the region.

“I think it shows that anyone can be accepted here,” said Snider. “It doesn’t matter the color of your skin. It is really the character of the individual and I think it really speaks to that.”

Snider’s focus remains on doing what he was elected to do, which is serving and leading his neighbors and community.

“You sort of have some comfort with somebody that you’ve known for a while and feel like you can talk to him about issues as they come up,” said Ryan Simmons, Alderman. “Knowing each other for a while we know that we are going to disagree, but at the end of the day, we are going to shake hands and be friends.”

Snider reminds everyone to never let limits hold you back.

“I think anyone can become anything they want to be if they put their mind to it,” said Snider. “No matter the race or creed. At the end of the day, we are all Americans and we all have the opportunity to become whatever you want to become.”