One of the biggest reasons I started the series “Elevating Young Voices” is to, obviously, elevate the voices of the youth in Alabama.
There are so many young people throughout this state that have so much to offer their communities, their state, and their country.
But the biggest goal that I have for this series is to inspire other young people to realize that they can make a difference in the lives of their peers.
They can be the difference. They can be the change.
One of the struggles of being a young person (especially in politics) in life, generally speaking, is the “wait your turn” mindset we get from a lot of our older peers.
Many folks are eager and excited to see young people get involved in their communities, political parties, and other organizations.
The issue is, when we’re actually “here”, some of those same people will allow you a foot in the door, but don’t let you all the way in the room.
This obviously isn’t a blanket statement about the older generation.
Far from it. It is however, something we have to deal with.
For this reason, a lot of times younger generations become disenfranchised with becoming leaders in our society.
Not the subject of this article.
Meet 19-year-old Jaxon. He is the third of four children from Ragland.
In some ways, Jaxon is just like any other 19-year-old you’ll meet today, but also very different.
He plays the trumpet, played football at Ragland High School, hangs out with his friends, and loves his family.
Pretty normal, right?
What sets Jaxon apart is his ambition and work ethic.
“When I was in school, I trained at the Hoover Police Explore Program and worked my way up to lieutenant,” Jaxon said.
He was also the Ragland High School Student Council President.
“I first became interested in politics during the 2016 primaries, and not for the reason you might think,” he said.
“I was 12 or 13 and that was when I really got an understanding of what this was all about.”
Jaxon said that although he became more conscious of the political process during the 2016 primary, as long as he can remember he’s always felt a calling to public service.
He’s put his actions behind those words as well.
In October 2021, as the president of the Student Council, he drafted a resolution endorsing a local project that would fix the railroad system in Ragland.
In early 2022, Congressman Mike Rogers read Jaxon’s resolution before the House of Representatives, and later secured a $5 million grant to fix the railroad.
This is an example of a young person with a tenacious spirit, and a deep-rooted love for his community, that got things done.
From there, Jaxon graduated high school in 2022 and currently studies political science at Jacksonville State University.
He is also heavily involved in the Young Republicans Federation of Alabama, where he served as chairman of the by-laws committee over the last year.
“Our constitution and by-laws hadn’t been amended since May of 2015 and were unbearably flawed,” he said. “This became more and more apparent to me the more I read them and pieced together what I imagine were the intended fundamentals of those documents.”
Jaxon goes on to say, “It was indeed an honor to have worked with a document that originated from the Alabama legend himself, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. There are still some minor concerns, but most of the major barriers were resolved at the most recent YRFA Summer Convention.”
It truly is amazing to see someone at Jaxon’s age make a difference in his communities and among his peers.
Unfortunately, when I was Jaxon’s age, I felt as though I had to “wait my turn” and, as a result, I lost several years of my life not knowing that what I wanted to do was actually accessible to me the entire time.
Let Jaxon’s story be a lesson to those who think, “I’m young. Who’s going to listen to me?”
Jaxon as a young man has made a difference in his family, and in his community, and as a result has built friendships with people all over this state.
If you are intelligent, humble, and hard-working, there is very little you cannot accomplish, and Jaxon is living proof of that.
“Elevating Young Voices” is a series that provides a platform for the next generation of leaders to share their perspectives on issues in America today. Each individual represents the new face of what it means to be pro-Alabama.
Nate Butler is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News. You can find him on Twitter @realnatebutler or on Instagram @_nate_butler