Local teen get's an early start in politics...
She wasn't on your primary ballot today, but you should probably look for Joanne Flinn in a few years because she's getting an early start in civil service.
She may look like a typical 18 year old, but she has big plans for public office that started when she was just a kid helping with her mother's campaign. Her mother, Jennifer, was the first woman ever elected to the Columbia County Board of Commissioners and Flinn said that experience inspired her passion for politics.
Flinn began pursuing that passion today when she was appointed to a Citizens-at-large position on the Advisory Council for the Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center.
The center provides free and confidential services like therapy and counseling to survivors of violent crimes and Flinn will help their work by serving on the Advisory Council.
Her interest is refreshing to those working most closely with victims. Laura Kalt, Victim Advocate Counselor, said, "I think that an organization like ours relies on people in the community who are willing to step forward and help out and volunteer with us...so it's very exciting to hear a young person wants to get involved and wants to make a difference."
Flinn said she doesn't know exactly what her political future will hold, but her aspirations are all about making a difference-- and encouraging other teens to do the same. She said, "A lot of people think they have to wait...or wait till they're older to actually become active because they're scared of how people will view it, how people won't take them seriously, but i believe that people should become more involved early on...if i can be out there and be a voice for people, i can help others to find their voice."
When Joanne Flinn isn't working with the council to raise awareness about violent crimes and funds for survivor services, she's working on her Associates Degree in Psychology at Santa Fe College.
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