Who is Michelle Young? The Story Behind the Lead for 'The Bachelorette' Season 18

After coming so close to securing love during The Bachelor Season 30, Michelle Young returns to the franchise as the lead in Season 18 of The Bachelorette.

Young has the unenviable task of selecting a partner from 30 single men this season. The eligible bachelors range from yoga instructors to firefighters and mathematicians to NFL Players.

Season 18 of The Bachelorette begins on Tuesday October 19 at 8/7c on ABC. New episodes will air weekly before becoming available to watch on Hulu.

Who Is Michelle Young?

Young is an elementary school teacher from Burnsville, Minnesota, but she's got plenty of television experience coming into the new season of The Bachelorette.

Born in June 1993, 28-year-old Young grew up in Minnesota and proved to be a star athlete throughout her education. She was a basketball player at Woodbury High School before going on to receive an athletic scholarship and play Division I basketball at Bradley University, Illinois.

She played guard for her university team and received multiple awards for her performances during her time at school.

Young graduated in 2015 with a degree in elementary education, which she then used to become a kindergarten teacher.

She only joined Instagram publicly in April 2020, admitting in her first post: "A little late to the Instagram party but, I made it."

Michelle Young on The Bachelor

Young will be familiar to fans of The Bachelor as she appeared in Season 30, attempting to win the affections of lead Matt James.

Young was introduced to the competition in Week 3, which aired on January 18, 2021. She managed to stay in the running in the competition right until the end where she came in second place behind eventual winner Rachel Kirkconnell.

After the long season, Young posted a thank you to the viewers on Instagram, thanking everyone for their "overwhelming support" shown throughout the season. She said afterwards that it was "Time to relax, recharge, and trade in these gowns for sweatpants...! At least for a little while anyway."

Seven months after that final, she's preparing to make her debut as the lead of her own series on The Bachelorette.

Why She's Joining The Bachelorette

Young shared an interview she did with ExtraTV to her Instagram account where she discussed the upcoming season. She told viewers big emotions aren't a bad thing and throughout the season we'll see her break and cry, but she won't be quitting.

On what she's looking for in a partner amongst the 30 contestants, she said, "What I was looking for was just qualities that I see in my parents' relationship.

"Just somebody I can laugh with, somebody who is going to stick in during the difficult times, somebody who is a goal setter and is supportive, and is not gonna leave when things get tough," Young said.

Find out how Michelle Young does on The Bachelorette, airing Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC.

Michelle Young The Bachelorette
Kindergarten teacher Michelle Young is the star of Season 18 of "The Bachelorette" on ABC. ABC