Michelle Chung, MA
One phrase most young adults hear from their elders is: “You’re too young to understand.” For too long, the younger generation has been undermined and criticized for their age rather than their maturity, intelligence or drive. Even so, a few have successfully skipped some serious stepping stones in their lives to become influential politicians, proving to the world that really, age is just a number.
1. Aundre Bumgardner. Bumgardner was a volunteer, intern and political aide for various politicians before he found himself being elected as the youngest Connecticut state representative in history at age 20. Coming from a family of immigrants (as his grandmother came from Panama and his mother came from Puerto Rico), he hopes
to give a voice to the overlooked and guide the state to prosperity.
2. Jeramey Anderson. On the day of his 22nd birthday, Anderson was sworn in as a Mississippi state representative and became known as the youngest African American lawmaker in the state and nation’s history. He managed to take 60 percent of the vote despite being a Democrat in a mostly Republican state. He is fighting to better the education system while a student at Tulane University.
3. Saira Blair. At just 17 years old, Blair was a senior in high school when she launched the campaign that allowed her to win a seat in the West Virginia House of Delegates a year later, defeating her 44-year old opponent in a vote of 63 percent to 30 percent. As a current economics major at West Virginia University, the Republican is popular for being the youngest elected lawmaker in the United States. But the greatest part? She attributes her time in Youth and Government as to why she was inspired to run in the first place.
Dozens of young adults have made their way into the political system, and these three are only a few who have shown that age does not define one’s ability to become a proponent of change. Any individual with the knowledge, dedication and passion can better our nation.
The only question to ask now is: Who will we see taking the country by storm next?