“While I was blessed to have come from a very sheltered and loving home, for many years I was oblivious to the issues that others in southern West Virginia were facing. As I learned more and more about the dark past of a close friend of mine, I began to understand the problem: there was no hope in my community.”
Born and raised in the small town of Bolt near the border of Raleigh and Wyoming counties, Jacob Snuffer says the urge to make his region a better place struck at a fairly young age.
At just 12, Jacob got involved with his local chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). Six years later, and Jacob has become a state and national leader of efforts to promote healthy lifestyles for young people, inspired by a huge need he sees to give teenagers a feeling of involvement in their community.
“Ever since I was a little kid, doing everything I could to better my community wasn’t a task, but a blessing,” he says.
Next year, Jacob will become one of America’s youngest political hopefuls when he enters the race to represent the 25th District in the West Virginia House of Delegates. He says his decision to run for elected office is a natural extension of his life so far.
“The reason I got involved with SADD and other young leadership efforts are the same reasons that I decided to be involved in politics,” Jacob says. “I saw the issues that my generation struggled with every day. Child poverty, hunger and lack of educational opportunities, were always on my mind as things that were totally preventable.”
Jacob is one of many aspiring political candidates that will take part in the West Virginia Candidate Training Academy’s Candidate Training Series this November and December.
For more information on the Candidate Training Series visit ocofwv.org/DoSomethingGreat.
These non-partisan trainings aim to help everyday citizens who are interested in running for office by providing lessons on things like how to make a stump speech, tips for fundraising, and how to create a campaign strategy.
As a young candidate with no previous experience in elected office, Jacob is aware that he has much to gain from the lessons of others who have gone before him.
“I am ready to give 1000 percent to the people of West Virginia, but even then I can’t do it alone,” he says. “It takes hardworking elected officials, candidates and citizens to ensure that all West Virginians get their best shot at a good life!”
“By encouraging people to get involved in decision making, and giving them the tools to do so, training events like this have a profound impact on strengthening our democracy.”
Jacob does not see his age as any impediment to being an effective leader.
“Working with advocacy and political groups like Our Children, Our Future, and Inspire WV gave me the motivation to know that I could run for office. I thought about it for what seemed like forever, but finally came to the conclusion that my age would not interfere with me working to make positive change in our state. What better way to do that then to run for the House of Delegates?”
Learn more about the Candidate Training Series at www.ocofwv.org/DoSomethingGreat
This post is not an endorsement of this, or any candidate. These trainings are rigorously non-partisan, and the West Virginia Candidate Training Academy aims to attract aspiring candidates of all political and social persuasions.