He isn’t old enough to drink or buy a lottery ticket, but most importantly he's not old enough to cast a ballot. The irony lies in fact that that Ryan Jamula is now a political force for the NDP in Brant.

Just 17-years-old and in grade twelve and Jamula already has seven years of experience in the political arena.  

“I did some research on the political parties and i decided i liked what the NDP stood for so I did went to a candidates open house and signed up to volunteer on the campaign.”

He was 10-years-old at the time. Fast forward seven years to Sunday, when the grade 12 student was elected president of the provincial riding association during its annual meeting.

He now leads an association that has several younger members. Of the association’s 10 members, seven were born after 1980 and three are teenagers.

Jamula says this is a sign that young people are engaged.

“I really think it speaks to a change that young people can lead in communities,” he said.

Among his first tasks as association president is to figure out who will represent the NDP in Brant. Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath has already made three campaign stops in the long-time Liberal riding, and Jamula believes there is an appetite for change in the region.

He’s also keeping his fingers crossed that the next provincial election will be held after May 13, 2013. That’s his birthday and the earliest day he could possibly vote.

Jamula said after high school, he wants to study political science in university and eventually plans to continue his career in politics.