You often hear of the dangers of using Facebook or Twitter, but it was refreshing to hear how it helped a 19-year-old get elected into the Paramus Board of Education. Ace Antonio is freshman at William Patterson University, whose successful campaign strategy in Paramus, where the last recent graduate was elected to the board in 1982 shows one area where youth can be an advantage. Antonio conducted his campaign almost entirely on the social networking Web site Facebook, he said, a tool many older school officials tend to avoid. “Facebook was the most cost effective,” he said of the method he used to reach out to the parents of his former classmates at Paramus High School. “It was already free.” His Facebook page gained 300 followers on the first day of its launch. Using online social networks also was seen as an advantage in the last US Presidential elections.
Antonio was encouraged to run for office by former teachers and friends. During the school board elections last month, Antonio received 1,815 votes. The election win placed him in a small group of people under 20 elected to a school board. According to data from the New Jersey School Boards Association, less than 2 percent of the state’s school board members are even under the age of 30. This isn’t Antonio’s first run at public service. He has been active in clubs and organizations since he was in middle school. While attending Paramus High School, Antonio was a high school senator, graduating class officer, and student advisory board member. He also dedicates time to various groups in Paramus, including the Substance Abuse Prevention Committee, the Ambulance Corps, and at multicultural events at the Senior Center. He also has experience working for various city, county and state campaigns.
For more on this amazing 19-year-old you can go to his Facebook page.