OLYMPIA – Dana Hicks, 15, served as a page in the Washington State Senate during the week of March 6.
Pages are typically sponsored by the senator from their legislative district. Sen. Jeannie Darneille (D-Tacoma) sponsored Hicks’s week in the Legislature.
The page program offers a hands-on opportunity for students to find out how state government works. The interactive learning experience includes classes focused on topics like budget writing and how a bill becomes a law, and culminates in pages creating their own bills in a mock committee setting. The educational experience is furthered by guest speakers.
“I wrote a bill about classroom sizes in K-6 education for our Page School mock committee and I really enjoyed researching and writing my bill. I wish I would have had more time to put more breadth and depth into my bill, but this place is fast paced,” said Hicks.
Pages also have the opportunity to work on the Senate floor. Their maroon coats and credentials allow them access to all parts of the Capitol Campus.
“I had the chance to work on the Senate floor on Tuesday and they were debating a really important and contentious bill, and I found it really interesting how both parties strategized their response to the bill being introduced and debated. Although the Senators had very strong feelings about the bill, I never saw any of them attack each other or say demeaning things to each other. It was all relatively civil,” added Hicks.
“Being here has positively impacted me to think about a career in public service because I found out the Senators here have regular jobs outside of the Legislature that they go back to when the session is over. I really like the idea of having an opportunity to come here and serve my community but still be able to go back to doing something else in my community. It would give me the opportunity to pursue multiple passions,” remarked Hicks.
Hicks is in the 10th grade at The Science and Math Institute. In her free time, she enjoys restorative justice work, volunteering, and science.
For more information about the Senate Page Program, contact SenatePageProgram@leg.wa.gov