Never too young to make an impact

·3 min read

Jaxen Bouman is a Grade 8 student at Crescent Heights who is gaining local fame with his YouTube channel.

Bouman says he started making videos for his channel, Half Of That Flaaffy, about three months ago. Named after his favourite Pokemon, the channel was originally intended for videos about the popular cards and game.

“It was Pokemon 101 and my top 10 favourite Pokemon,” said Bouman.

Recently, Bouman decided to use his YouTube channel to discuss an entirely different topic; municipal elections.

“I was sitting in my room and I heard my mom and dad talking about how there was so many different candidates,” Bouman explained.

He went on to research each city council candidate and record a video where he explained the platform of each one. That video, which Bouman posted a week ago at the encouragement of his mother Natalee, had nearly 1,000 views as of Friday afternoon. Bouman is gaining local recognition.

“My teacher showed the entire class my interview with CHAT News,” said Bouman. “It was kind of embarrassing.”

Derrick Bouman, Jaxen’s dad, says he is proud of his son and impressed by what he does.

“There’s no way I’d be able to do something like that, so I have to hand it to him. The acting and memorizing the lines, it’s really good,” Derrick said. “He’s kind of wanted to be a YouTuber for a while, so it’s a step in the right direction and it’s a project for him to work on, rather than playing video games all the time.”

Four days ago, Bouman released another video; ‘Strange Encounters at Police Point Park,’ where he got the chance to interview a few city council candidates, as well as current mayor Ted Clugston.

Marco Jansen and Allison Knodel, both of whom were featured in Bouman’s latest video, shared a comment with the News.

“It’s really terrific anytime you can engage a younger person in politics,” said Jansen. “The beauty of someone like Jaxen and their perspective is that they aren’t, for lack of a better term, tainted or coloured like some of us older folks. Kids have this wonderful ability to just say things flat out, as they as are, as they see them, and that kind of freshness and openness is often missing in politics.”

Knodel praised Bouman for being a leader in the community.

“He is connecting young people and other community members that may not be invested in politics through our city council election,” Knodel said. “He is creating a sense of accessibility to that information through his creativity and having fun with his mom as the director and I think it’s a pretty special project. It’s something that a lot of young kids likely wouldn’t be drawn to, but I think he has a great personality and makes it fun and engaging and it’s drawn the attention of a lot of people.”

Jansen went on to say that Bouman is reaching a challenging demographic, and doing it in an entertaining and informative way.

“Despite his tender years, he actually has a really good on-screen presence. His pacing is very good and his dialogue,” said Jansen. “It’s wonderful that he has such supportive parents that are contributing to this. I’m a big fan of Jaxen.”

Bouman plans to continue to grow his channel by discussing things that interest him. He will also continue to cover hot topics and local events, and will be featured in a video on the Medicine Hat News Instagram page on Oct. 17.

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LAUREN THOMSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News

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