Jackie Ryan was in high school when she first got involved in politics.
During a school board discussion in her small town of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, Jackie heard one of her representatives call transgender students—like her—a threat to their peers.
“I immediately sent him an email," she says, "and told him that what he was saying was completely untrue.”
When the representative ignored Jackie’s email, she decided to run for a seat on the school board.
“I think I originally got into it because I wanted to show him why my voice needed to be heard, but very quickly I realized that my campaign was about more than him—or me. It was about the Tantasqua school district.”
Jackie won her campaign, beating out a five-year incumbent for her seat.