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Michigan’s youngest state representative, 21-year-old Jewell Jones, graduates

THE FUTURE: Jewell Jones (centre) celebrates his graduation with friends and family

JEWELL JONES, Michigan’s youngest-ever state representative, has graduated from university with a degree in political science and business.

Posting a graduation picture with family and friends on Twitter, he simply wrote: “Issa movement”.

The 21-year-old made history in November when he became the youngest member elected to the Michigan House of Representatives, beating his opponent, Republican Robert Pope, with 65 percent of the vote.

The lifelong Inkster resident was also the youngest elected Inkster City Council member, then aged 20.

“I’ve fallen in love with it,” he says of his newfound political career. “There’s a lot of opportunity to do a lot of really great things, and you get to really dive into the community.”

There is about 25,000 residents in Inkster and roughly 80,000 in the district that Jewell represents.

As a councilman, Jones focused on Inkster’s education system, which was dissolved in 2013 due to a $15 million budget deficit.

“We’re trying to figure out how to get (the district) back,” he says.“There’s an outstanding debt that needs to be paid off. It’s not just something we can pay off overnight.”

Other goals included improving public safety, economic development and income equality.

Up until his graduation, Jewell juggled meetings and studies.

Studying at night after meetings — and saving sleep for “later” was his motto.

“Being taken seriously might be a challenge since we’re so young,” Johnson says. “People don’t think we have the experience to do what we do, but we have the power, the drive, the right mindset to get things done. We have an understanding of what’s going on in the world.”

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