19-Year-Old Stanley Celestine Jr. Wins Election to His School Board in Louisiana

Stanley Celestine Jr.

Stanley Celestine Jr. will have an advantage over his fellow school board members. He’ll likely know what students in his Louisiana school district are going through better than the rest.

That’s because he was in their shoes, or at least their seats, less than two years ago.

Celestine is 19, a 2017 graduate of the Avoyelles Parish School District, which he will help lead come January.

He wants to help students have a voice — and improve a struggling school system.

“I will be able to bring a perspective from someone who just graduated from the system and hopefully will inspire more students to participate,” he said. “Student voice is important to have on any organization that benefits children.”

Celestine received 65 percent of the vote this November to secure the open District 5 seat on the Avoyelles Parish School Board.

He won 789 votes, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State website.

He’s well aware he’ll be the youngest on the nine-member board next year. During his campaign, people asked why he didn’t wait to run until after college, until he was older and made a more traditional candidate.

He took an educational approach to answering that question.

“We don’t wait to teach kids how to read and write,” Celestine said. “We want to start as early as possible. So it’s important we are teaching and instilling in young people that they are never too young … to do things that are not the status quo or not the norm.”

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SOURCE: USA Today, Leigh Guidry