Paging for Our Senators

Advertisement

Many people spend their Presidents Day sleeping in, hanging out with friends, and watching Netflix. I had the opportunity of participating in the Indiana State Page Program for the second year in a row. Last year I went with my brother, Layton Mygrant, but this year I encouraged Hannah Plauschin, my friend, to go. Next year, I can hopefully encourage more students from Lewis Cass to apply for this amazing program.

The program takes place in the state capitol building in Indianapolis. Since Indianapolis is a crowded city, the streets can be very busy. Driving to Indianapolis and finding a parking spot can be stressful. The state house is a big and confusing building, with many entrances, which makes it hard to find where we were supposed to check-in. Finding an inexperienced pager will definitely be confused and frustrated while trying to find the room for the Page Program. This year I was an experienced pager, but last year I was not. During my first time, I met a kind girl on the way to the state building, and when we found out that we were headed to the same place, she showed me where to go. Meeting someone who has been through the program before is the best bet to be informed.

The time that students are expected to arrive is around 8 a.m. After students finish checking in, they sit and wait for instructions. Throughout the day, the interns take the students through the senate experience. The interns give a little presentation over the schedule and start the day by giving the pages a tour of the building, showing them the offices of the state’s most important people, and teaching them about the architecture. 

Teresa Mygrant said, “I thought that the state house was very beautiful. I loved the old wood because it gives the structure character. The fossils that were in the old limestone on the floors and walls were amazing. The chandeliers that were everywhere were stunning and pulled the rooms together.”

Pages also get the amazing opportunity to see session. During session, all of the senators get together to talk about important bills and topics. After lunch, the pages prepare for a session where each one will get to meet the senator that represents his or her district. As the senators walk into the large session room, the pages wait patiently until their senator arrives. Many people do not know what session is, but it is definitely one thing that everyone needs to see. The senator I met during this time was Senator Stacey Donato, who is the Senator of Cass County and a kind woman. 

Stacey Donato is extremely involved with Cass County. She has been involved in many activities, including the following; the Cass County Council,  Grissom Air Force Reserve Base Community Council, Logansport/Cass County Rotary Club, Advisory Committee of the Child Protective Services, Advisory Board of the Emergency Management Association, Advisory Board of the Logansport/Cass County Airport Authority,  Executive Committee of the Cass County 4-H, Tailwaggers Dog Club, Forest River Owners Group, BAM Council, and even the Lewis Cass Band Boosters. While meeting Donato, she was enthusiastic and motivated. She strongly encouraged Hannah and I to have our friends apply for the paging program. She is very involved and encourages the youth in any way that she can.

Senator Donato said, “As a member of the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development, I want to hear from students directly on issues that they are most passionate about. Regardless of your interest in government or the policymaking process, what takes place at the Statehouse affects you each and every day. It is important that students have a firm understanding of their state government and paging allows students to pair what they learn in the classroom with real-world experience.”

In school, students learn about the process of how an idea turns into a law, but they do not get to see the process take place. With this experience, students get to truly understand the process of citizens forming ideas to go to their senator. Instead of listening to a song, students get to listen to the true conversations about possible new laws. One very effective way of learning the process was through the mock bill activity. The interns helped the pages get into small groups to think of a mock bill idea. The small groups took these ideas and voted on them to see which ones would turn into mock bills. The best mock bill would be modified and voted on again just like a real bill. Through this activity, the students learned the process by practicing and having fun while being mock senators.

This program gives high school students a great experience. The pages get to experience a day in the statehouse with important businessmen and women. The excitement in the room full of the state’s senators can inspire each page as the energy hightens. Each Senator connects with his or her pages on a personal level and inspires them. Senators are often thought to be above everyone else, but they are more involved with the community than the average Cass County resident.

I also enjoyed introducing the program to my friend, another participant, Hannah Plauschin. She said,“I loved paging for the Senators. It was a great opportunity to meet important people within the State House and a great way to truly understand the works within the building. Being a page allowed me to learn so many new and interesting things and see the billing process first-hand. My experience greatly influenced me, and I will definitely be going back next year.” 

Heather Plauschin, Hannah’s mom, said, “My best takeaway from this experience as an outside observer was the tremendous amount of effort the whole program took into educating the students and visitors throughout the day. This is not just a program to get kids to come work for free for a day, and in exchange, the students get to write something awesome on their resume. From the moment a person walks into the building, the learning begins, and it continues throughout the day. If one is truly engaged and focused, you learn Indiana history about our legislature process, about our judicial system, and that our senators and representatives are real people, not just a picture in a brochure or on a campaign ad from Facebook.”

I love the Page Program and all that it stands for. Meeting the senators can open up doors for a future career. Last year, I had the opportunity of meeting Senator Head, and this year I enjoyed meeting Senator Donato. I cannot wait to apply for the Page Program again next year. I hope this information will encourage others to apply too.

 

Go to 

https://www.indianasenaterepublicans.com/page-program 

for more information.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email