Rihtik Banthia, a freshman at Mount Si High School in Snoqualmie, served as a page for the Washington State Senate the week of Jan. 23, 2023. Sen. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah) sponsored his week at the Legislature.
The page program offers a hands-on opportunity for students to find out how state government works. During the week-long interactive learning experience, students get a first-hand look at the legislative process and get to explore the Capitol campus by assisting senators and their staff. Along with the practical experience, pages are also taught about state government by staff and by guest speakers.
“I applied for the page program because I wanted to be more involved in government and see how it works, and get to see all the senators,” Banthia said, “and get a week off of school.”
Banthia said that he has greatly enjoyed the experience.
“I think that it’s been really rewarding. I get to meet new people every day, and I get fun experiences that other kids don’t have,” he said. “My favorite part of being a page has been meeting and seeing senators everywhere. Usually, people wait months and months to get a meeting with senators or to even see them, but I’ve seen a lot of senators, the lieutenant governor, and the secretary of state, which is really cool.”
“I think this experience has shown me that politics can be a really interesting and fun career,” Banthia said. “But I still have some time to decide what I want to do.”
Sen. Mullet said that he enjoyed his time with Banthia and was not only impressed with his bill ideas, but also his impressive knowledge of anything to do with the Seahawks. Sen. Mullet is convinced that Banthia will have a “large positive future impact on his local community”.