Vidhi Mehrotra, a tenth grader at the Overlake School in Redmond, served as a page for the Washington State Senate the week of Jan. 16. Sen. Manka Dhingra (D-Redmond) sponsored her week at the Legislature.
The page program offers a hands-on opportunity for students to find out how state government works. During week-long interactive learning experience, students are visited by guest speakers and get to draft their own bills. Students also get to explore the Capitol campus by delivering papers for Senate staff.
Mehrotra said that she applied for the program because her fifth grade teacher recommended it.
“I applied for the page program because in the fifth grade I came here on a tour, and my teacher told us that we should apply for this program because her children attended this program,” Mehrotra said. “And she was super adamant about me doing it because she saw something in the future for me in politics and government.”
Mehrotra said that she has greatly enjoyed her experience. She has particularly enjoyed being able to sit in on committee hearings.
“One of the ones I got to sit in on was the Law & Justice Committee,” she said, “I was able to connect my previous experience in mock trial, debate, and model UN and to this.”
Mehrotra was also happy to be able to spend time with her sponsor, Sen. Dhingra, who she considers a role model.
“She has a respect in this community, and being a woman of color, she’s also Indian, and it’s really great seeing somebody from my affinity representing all of us and more,” she said. “I was able to talk to her and she’s such a sweet person, and everyone I’ve run into, whether they’re Republican or Democrat, has had great things to say about her.”
Sen. Dhingra also enjoyed her experience with Mehrotra, saying, “Vidhi is a terrific young person who’s going to make a tremendous difference in our community with her passion for the most significant issues facing us today.”
For more information about the Senate Page Program, contact SenatePageProgram@leg.wa.gov.