Rising Stars: 10 of New Jersey’s Youngest Political Talents

Click through to see which college and high school students made the list.
Rutgers New Brunswick
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Chris Scales, 20 - Though still only 20 years old and still completing his political science degree at Rider University, Scales is a duly elected member of the Hamilton Township Board of Education. He was elected in 2014 when he was just 18 after serving as a non-voting student liaison for three years.
TCNJ Political Union
Ashley Rosone, 23 - Rosone is Chair of the New Jersey College Republicans and a Legislative Aide to Assemblywoman Bettylou DeCroce (R-26). She studies political science at Ramapo College, and previously worked as an Associate PR Director for Republican-leaning nonprofit Turning Point USA.
TCNJ Political Union
Andrew Peng, 17 - Peng may only be a high school senior, but he has already built up a formidable resume of design, social media and communications work. Currently interning for congressional candidate Josh Gottheimer's campaign in the fifth district, he also serves as National Marketing Director for the High School Democrats of America and as Executive Editor for Byline, a political opinion site aimed at the under-35 set. He also does volunteer social media work for AAPI Millenials for Hillary, an arm of the Clinton campaign. He lives in Livingston.
TCNJ Political Union
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Brendan Neal, 22 - Before serving as Chief of Staff to State Assemblyman Reed Gusciora while he finishes his degree in political science at The College of New Jersey, Neal had already logged time as the assemblyman's legislative aide.
TCNJ Political Union
Hanna Rothenberg, 22 - Rothenberg is the Vice President of New Jersey United Students, an anti-privatization advocacy group that draws members from colleges across the state. A student at Ramapo College in Mahwah, she helps the group to agitate for increased funding for the state's public universities.
TCNJ Political Union
Cristian Moreno, 21 - Moreno, the former president of the Stockton College Democrats, was born in Atlantic City to immigrant parents from Oaxaca, Mexico and studies political science with a focus on immigration law. He has interned with State Sen. Jim Whelan (D-2); the State Senate Majority Office; the distirct office of State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-3); and most recently as an aide to Atlantic City Councilman Kaleem Shabazz. He has his sites set on the State Senate.
TCNJ Political Union
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Bishar Jenkins, 21 - A Trenton native, Jenkins is currently interning at the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, where he works to tally the federal government's obligations to indigenous populations. He became president of the Rutgers NAACP earlier this year after interning for the state Attorney General's office in 2014 and the governor's office in 2015. He is studying political science and government at Rutgers.
TCNJ Political Union
John Bingham, 21 - Bingham has served as a clerk for the county's board of elections and mounted a campaign for State Assembly while studying economics and labor studies at Rutgers. He currently serves as the President of the College Democrats of New Jersey, and was the youngest person ever to be elected to the office when he won the presidency of the Beachwood Borough Democratic Organization in 2014.
TCNJ Political Union
Aylon Berger, 16 - The national chair at the High School Democrats of America, the high school junior from Livingston already has a long record of accomplishments. His New Jersey chapter of the organization was presented with the "State Chapter of the Year" Award by Senator Cory Booker, and he himself has received recognition from AIPAC, Campaigner and Politifax, state Democratic Chairman John Currie, and the West Essex Democratic Coalition.
TCNJ Political Union
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Demetrius Terry, 23 - Terry, Executive Vice President of the College Democrats of New Jersey, is a Sociology major at Seton Hall University and passionate partisan for Jersey City mayor Steve Fulop's anticipated gubernatorial bid. The novice Hudson County political joined Senator Bernie Sanders for his primary campaign kickoff earlier this year, and recieved the Urban League of Hudson County's "Rising Star" Award in April.
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The phrase ‘New Jersey politics’ may conjure up more images of smoke-filled backrooms than classrooms, but plenty of studentsĀ are finding their niche in state politics and making their voices heard. These are 10 of the most notable student leaders, activists, school board members and aspiring politicians who have already made their mark before earning their degree.