20-year-old elected to Jersey City school board

Thursday, November 16, 2017
New Jersey school board member dreams big
A.J. Ross reports on the youngest member of the Jersey City school board.

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- Ambitious and determined, 20-year-old Mussab Ali wants to be a powerful voice for students as the youngest member ever elected to the Jersey City school board.

"I think it's important to get younger people involved," he said. "And especially people that can look at me and say, hey if he can do it, I can do it too."

A senior at Rutgers Newark double majoring in biology and economics, Ali narrowly beat David Miranda by 68 votes to assume the elite education position.

"I went to Jersey City public schools my whole life," he said. "I went to PS 23, Academy I Middle School, and then McNair Academic High School. It's one thing from a teachers perspective to see how policy trickles down, but as a student, you really know how policy is trickling into the classroom and how it's affecting all your peers."

Ali also had the full support of the teachers union and help from several former classmates throughout his campaign. In his new role, he now hopes to bridge the gap between ESL families and educators, in addition to promoting health and wellness programs throughout the district.

"Looking at students in terms of what are they getting in the morning in terms of nutrition and quality of their meals, and also in terms of vision like optometry," he said.

Ali said he's also very aware his recent victory is a win for countless others daring to dream big.

"It's great to be young," he said. "But opening a door for Muslims and just to say, hey, we can be involved in that engagement process too."