Earle, Arkansas’ newest mayor may have graduated from high school mere months ago, but his age isn’t holding him back from making a big impact in the community. 18-year-old Jaylen Smith decided to forgo college to run for mayor, claiming that he wanted to make a difference in his hometown before moving onto his next chapter. Smith, who is a Democrat, won in a runoff election on promises of tearing down decrepit town buildings, focusing on public safety, setting up public transportation, and bringing back a supermarket to increase food security. Though Smith is not the first teen mayor in the United States, he is the youngest Black mayor in the country. Earle is a sleepy town 30 miles outside of Memphis with a population of 1,800, and Smith is determined to use his age as an advantage to bring a much-needed spark back to the community.
Image via Sophie Hills / CS Monitor
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