At the age of 18, Colin Rafferty became one of the youngest board of education members in the state. Rafferty was elected in November 2018, just four short months after graduating high school. Now, after some time with the Delran Board of Education, Rafferty wants to inspire youth to get more involved
Rafferty spent his adolescence going through the Delran School District. Once he arrived at Delran Middle School, Rafferty began to attend council and board of education meetings. His passion for politics and government slowly started to build until about sophomore year in high school when he realized that it was a career path he could see himself going down.
“Going into 2018, I really wanted to get involved in government,” said Rafferty. “I always wanted to give back to the community, and I couldn’t think of a better way to give back and to get involved than to run. I ran in November, and the first time I could ever vote, I voted for myself. That’s a pretty cool thing.
“I really love Delran and the school district,” Rafferty continued. “When I was running, I think a lot of the residents looked past my age because they knew how passionate I was and because I was already involved in a lot of things. Personally, I believe it’s time for the younger ages to get more involved.”
According to Rafferty, who is also a member of the Delran Recreation Advisory Committee and the Delran District Technology Committee, youth should get involved even if it’s just in the smaller organizations.
“Whether it’s being a part of the green team or the recreation advisory committee, the youth should get involved,” said Rafferty. “There is a younger generation of leaders that will have to step up eventually. Hopefully, I think from seeing Tyler Burrell and myself getting elected at such young ages, it will show that it is possible for the youth to be elected, have a voice and serve Delran.”
For Rafferty, age is an asset. It allows him to bring in a different perspective that may not have been there before. It has also allowed the board of education to become more transparent through the use of social media. In fact, one of the three main points that Rafferty ran on was to increase transparency.
“When I ran, I opened a website and Facebook page to kind of use social media to my advantage,” said Rafferty. “I ran on the ideas of increasing transparency, school safety and stabilizing taxes. We have already moved towards those areas, but I want to continue towards recording the meetings for the people that can’t attend and improving communication between each other. I know a lot of residents in town that don’t have children and they would like to be informed as well. Having access is something they’ve been looking for.”
Those looking to be more involved with government or who simply want to be informed, can go to Rafferty’s Facebook page to find out about the Delran Board of Education.