OLYMPIA—Arielle Waham, a sophomore at Bothell High School, served as a page with the Washington State Senate the week of Feb 20. Sen. Derek Stanford (D-Bothell) sponsored her week at the Legislature.
The page program offers a hands-on opportunity for students to find out how state government works. During a week-long interactive learning experience, students get a firsthand look at the legislative process and get to explore the Capitol campus by delivering papers for Senate staff.
Waham applied for the program because of her family.
“I heard about it through some family members who did it way back in the ‘80s, and it just sounded like a really cool opportunity, something really different that looks good on college applications,” she said. “I do have some interest in politics, not exactly what I want to do when I grow up, but this is just something that’s totally cool and different that none of my other friends have ever done.”
Waham said that her favorite parts of the program were serving as security and paging on the Senate floor.
“One of our specific jobs is being security, and I really enjoyed it, especially for the galleries, because you get to escort people to the senators’ offices, and I love the security guard there,” she said. “And being on the Senate floor for the sessions, I actually really enjoyed that because I find it interesting, passing out the papers.”
She said that she would highly recommend the program to other students.
“I’d seriously recommend this to anybody. Even if you aren’t super interested in politics, it’s just a good experience,” she said. “Like I didn’t know if I’d be good at talking to and being with a bunch of people that I don’t know for an entire week, but I’ve discovered a lot about myself being able to talk to other people and make friends with them, and you meet a lot of people that you usually wouldn’t.”
Stanford said that Waham was “a pleasure to have at the Capitol and on the Senate floor.”
For more information about the Senate Page Program, contact SenatePageProgram@leg.wa.gov.