18-year-old mayor’s high school alma mater holds celebration

EARLE, Ark. — A celebration of history made today in Eastern Arkansas.

As we told you earlier this week voters in the city of Earle Arkansas elected 18-year-old Jaylen Smith to be their next mayor.

FOX13 was the only station in Earle today as Smith’s alma mater hosted a celebration for the young man believed to be the youngest African American Mayor in U.S. history.

It was a big day here at Earle High as mayor-elect Jaylen Smith took to the stage in celebration.

Singing, cheerleaders, and signs celebrated Smith’s history-making election.

RELATED: Youngest U.S. Black mayor elected in Arkansas

The 18-year-old spoke to FOX13′s reporter Tom Dees, about what it was like to get that kind of support.

”Amazingly good, the love and support from the family and the community,” Smith said.

Smith told FOX13 he has shadowed other mayors.

He plans to use that experience to accomplish the changes he wants to see in Earle.

He also plans to reach his goals by working with city leaders.

”Number one is public safety, and secondly beautifying of the city and cleaning it up, and thirdly tearing down abandoned houses and bringing in more housing and a grocery store and transportation and water systems,” Smith said.

Earle High basketball coach Carl Miller said Smith was just an OK player.

But Miller said Smith found his spot when he got involved in student government.

”I know he is going to do very well because of the guidance that he has and the passion that he carries. When he was in student government here he was highly involved,” Miller said.

Jaylen’s mother Sonya Perkins told FOX13, anyone who doubts her son because of his age needs to get with the program.

”I believe that he can be successful and the naysayers just need to start believing and get behind him,” Perkins said.