Uma R. Yaga, a sophomore at Redmond High School, served as a page with the Washington State Senate the week of April 17. Sen. Manka Dhingra (D-Redmond) sponsored her week at the Legislature.

The page program offers a week of interactive learning about how state government works. Pages get to witness committee hearings, sit in on floor debates, and deliver materials for Senate staff.

Yaga applied to the program because of her general interest in government.

“I wanted to be a page because I’m in student government and have been interested in a career in law, so paging seemed like a really interesting opportunity.”

Yaga’s favorite part is meeting the senators and seeing the floor action up close: “The ones I met are so nice and seem to really care about giving pages the best experience they can!”

Yaga sponsored a bill for her page program’s mock committee regarding firearms.

“I introduced a bill to require firearm safety training for everyone who buys a gun. Personally, if anyone around me is carrying a gun I’d want them to at least know that guns should not be misused and have as much training as a driver does.

“The mock committee was so fun to be able to mimic what the senators do on a daily basis and discuss an issue that is really important to us.”

Yaga also would recommend the program to potential candidates in the future.

“It’s a great experience to learn about the state Legislature’s process from the inside.”

Yaga said the biggest thing she’s taking away from her time at the Legislature is learning the importance of working with people from all walks of life.

“I have learned the importance of working with people you may not agree with and understanding that sometimes your bills won’t pass and you’ve just got to keep going.”

Dhingra had lunch with Yaga during her week at the Legislature. The senator said, “Uma is an inspiring young person, and I admire her passion for the issues she worked on in page school this week.”

For more information about the Senate Page Program, contact