Boy with presidential ambition plans town hall

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COLUMBIA - An 11-year-old who sees himself as President one day is asking his peers to attend a kids-only town hall, Friday afternoon.

Jacob Schelp has his sights set on the oval office.

"You have to advance up the ranks," he said. "Representative, senator, treasurer, governor, state representative, state senator, president."

Schelp worries there's a problem in politics, though.

"I've been going to a lot of forums," he said. "And not a lot of kids are there. So I thought to myself, why don't we have a forum for kids?"

Schelp worked with his friend, 13-year-old Zack Sample, to organize a town hall with their local representatives. They invited Reps. Kip Kendrick, Cheri Toalson Reisch, Chuck Basye, Martha Stevens and Sen. Caleb Rowden. 

"We have a few questions prepared but mainly we want kids who come to ask the questions," Schelp said.

"Adults can come, but they can't ask questions," Sample said.

Schelp and Sample said kids who come can ask the question themselves or write it down on a note card. Schelp said he has some questions ready to go in case he needs to get the ball rolling.

"We have to add a few fun ones so we have, 'What is your favorite ice cream flavor?'"

Schelp is hoping his town hall will inspire kids to get more involved in politics.

"You just really need to visit your capitol," he said. "You need to -- you just gotta make those relationships with the politicians. You gotta just, like meet them. Even if it's quick just, like shake hands."

The town hall meeting starts at 2:00 p.m. Friday at the Columbia Public Library. Adults are welcome to attend with their kids, but questions from grown-ups are off-limits.