It's after school at North Attleboro High. Janitors are cleaning the hallways, most students have gone home, and teachers are winding down their day.

But inside a classroom sits history teacher Maura Sullivan and one of her students, senior Patrick Reynolds. You could say his life is history in the making. In April, Reynolds became the youngest person ever elected to the board of selectman in North Attleboro.

"It’s been a wild ride, exciting things going on," he said. "It was a hard fought campaign, lots of months of hard work, great to see it all pay off.”

Reynolds is only 18 years old, and yes, he already sounds like a seasoned politician. He sailed to victory with 57 percent of the vote, beating out four other candidates, including the incumbent, who had been in town government for three decades.

“It’s been nice to have him in American government," Sullivan said.

Sullivan says it’s been a real life lesson in the electoral process.

"A day after he was elected all the kids gave him a round of applause, they were excited,” she said.

Excited and involved — Reynolds says it was his classmates who helped him win the election.

"Lots of kids worked on the campaign," he said.

Many even helped him create a campaign video ad for social media.

“It’s easy to be pessimistic," Reynolds says in the video. "It’s easy to say we can’t or we won’t. When I talk to people in the town, that’s not what I hear. I hear hope, optimism and dreams."

"One of the kids who worked on the campaign decided to switch his major in college to political science, and we had a lot of help with kids with different talents, like a kid who was good with computers made a website," Reynolds said. "We had a rally at middle school, kids who played music, and kids good with video made a video of a rally, big community effort with the school.”

With all this interest from high school students in Reynolds’ election, it makes one think that embracing politics within this younger generation is catching on right? Think again.

A new national poll by Harvard’s Institute of Politics found that many 18-29 year olds are not expected to vote in November's midterm elections. Only 23 percent say they’ll “definitely be voting.”

"They were incredibly excited in 2008 with the election of Barak Obama," said John Della Volpe, director of polling at IOP. "They thought a change would happen in Washington D.C. Their expectations were very high, and when we look back several years later, they are overly disappointed, not necessarily on any one individual issue, but the whole mood of Washington D.C. hyperpartisanship, and the lack of movement generally throughout government, and tie that to issues related to economy immigration and other things.”

All these things add up to distrust, says Volpe. According to the Institute's spring poll results, “trust in institutions” is at a five-year low among millennials.

Reynolds sees things differently. He began his first campaign in the eighth grade working on Republican candidate Charlie Baker’s first run for governor.

"Seeing what’s going on in the town, I saw that one selectman wasn’t running for reelection, I thought someone new should run for town government with new ideas," he said. "I took a look in the mirror and said, 'Why don’t I do it?' I think everyone has the power to change things in their community. Why not just go out and do it?"

Volpe agrees with Reynolds’ perspective that there are more tangible results possible on the local level.

“I applaud his efforts because we found that people who participate early, meet elected officials, candidate, meet a politician when they are young or in their teens or early twenties, are far more likely to engage in politics," he said. "I think he’s onto something.”

At a recent North Attleboro's selectman’s meeting, it was business as usual for the most part, but selectman John Rhyno took a moment to reflect on Reynolds' early success.

"I think Patrick put a lot of time and effort into it," Rhyno said. "Just like everything else — you put a lot of time and effort into something, you get rewarded … you know, an 18 year old, he took the initiative, he’s been involved in political campaigns, it’s the first one for himself, he’s done very well.”

"I think Patrick’s a remarkable young man," said Joan Marchitto is chairwoman of the board of selectman. During the meeting, she publicly thanked Reynolds and acknowledged how proud she was of him.

"I think I’ve known Patrick four years? " she said. "Did I meet you when you were a freshman? He’s been working on campaigns, I’ve had the honor to work with him on many campaigns I’ve seen him out in the rain holding signs. I’ve seen him go and get petitions. I think the town of North Attleboro, he started, is it, The North Attleboro Teen Republican Party at the high school? Which I think is absolutely extraordinary — you did that in your freshman year? Which for someone at that age to even be thinking about that shows, I think it shows where he’ll be in four or five years."

Back at North Attleboro High, the tennis season is wrapping up, and Reynolds, like other seniors, is looking to graduation day. Then he’s off to Providence College to study political science and finish out his term as selectman. Beyond that, like many other seniors, he’s not really sure what he wants to do, but it’s pretty clear politics is in the realm of possibility.

"Um, you know, possibly law school, maybe continuing with public service, however my community wants me to serve," Reynolds said.