Youth Town Hall

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ASHLAND -Three middle school students are proving that it's never too early to get involved with politics.

They're hosting a Youth Town Hall with Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at the Ashland Optimist Club.

The event is open for everyone to attend, but it’s designed for the younger generation. It's a way for the youth to learn and ask questions about the government process. 

Jacob Schelp, Claire Thurnau, and Zach Sample have been busy planning the town hall with Hartzler’s team. The idea first came up in church.  

“It was Jacob’s idea,” Thurnau said. “He presented it at church and I was like ‘This is a great way to help me learn about the laws and lawmaking without having to do the adult chatter that I might not get so I was like let’s do it.'” 

Thurnau said she wants to be an attorney when she grows up. 

“So, I was like this is a great way to kind of get a head start into it,” Thurnau said. 

Schelp is homeschooled, and said he likes it because he gets to spend a lot of time on the topic he’s most interested in: history. 

“When I was 5-years-old I started to get interested in history and history has a lot to do with politics, so last year I did my first Youth Town Hall and after that I've done a few and a few and I've got pretty interested in it,” Schelp said. 

Schelp said he went to a forum that first sparked his interest in politics. He wants to be president one day, and maybe in the future a U.S. ambassador. 

“I am fascinated with how the government works and I always notice when I went there, there were very few kids so I thought to myself ‘Why don't I make a Youth Town Hall so kids can have a Youth Town Hall that’s based on them,’” Schelp said.  

Schelp's mother, a teacher by trade, said she is excited her son is able to take his passion and put it to use. 

“I know everyone says the youth is the next generation, but they're not that far from being the generation,” Robyn Schelp said. “I mean Jacob will vote in a couple of presidential elections and people need to be educated on what they're doing and so this is a great opportunity to let our kids know what happens, who makes our laws and that they're real people.” 

The Youth Town Hall is set for next Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. To ask a question, email Schelp at with your question.