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Minnesota House of Representatives offers annual page program

Juniors invited to apply for hands on political experience

The+Minnesota+state+capitol+building+in+downtown+St.+Paul+where+the+page+program+takes+place.+Students+chosen+for+the+high+school+page+program+from+across+Minnesota+will+spend+a+week+at+the+capitol+serving+as+pages.+
The Minnesota state capitol building in downtown St. Paul where the page program takes place. Students chosen for the high school page program from across Minnesota will spend a week at the capitol serving as pages.

The Minnesota state capitol building in downtown St. Paul where the page program takes place. Students chosen for the high school page program from across Minnesota will spend a week at the capitol serving as pages.

Culver Carden

Culver Carden

The Minnesota state capitol building in downtown St. Paul where the page program takes place. Students chosen for the high school page program from across Minnesota will spend a week at the capitol serving as pages.

Eli Curran-Moore

Having evolved into one of the top page programs in the nation, according to the Minnesota House of Representatives, the prestigious Minnesota High School page program is designed to instill a lifelong consciousness of the importance of government and public service.

According to Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms Andrew Olson, the page program offers rare insight in to Minnesota’s political system at the capitol.

“The program gives students a hands on perspective here at the legislature to see and learn things they wouldn’t in a classroom setting,” Olson said

. “Pages get to spend a week down here at the capital, meet with their state representative, and learn about things going on in their home districts. Pages also meet with other constitutional officers, representatives, students and make a ton of network connections here.”

Freshman Daniel Goldenberg said he thinks students’ political impact remains limited because of their age.

“(People) can spread ideas by talking about their political stances and sharing opinions, but honestly it’s not going to do much until you’re 18, when you can actually vote, that’s when it is actually going to matter,” Goldenberg said.

Olson said his role as program coordinator is to work with selected pages at the capitol and superintend the page program.

“We run a ten week program and students are here at the capitol for one full week,” Olson said. “My role as Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms and with the high school program is helping administer and set up the program itinerary, scheduling, hotel accommodations and work with students when they are on the house floor serving as high school pages and other activities they do throughout the week.”

Senior D’aviyan Robinson said she believes any youth political experience in government is crucial to anyone interested in a future career in politics.

“Youth participation in government can be important because for a lot people who want to go into positions like that in the future, it’s a way for them to get ex

posure and learn about the political process, especially because politics is a big part of society in general.” Robinson said.

According to Olson, youth participation in government leads to future political leaders and a better politically-informed populace.

“It is very important to get students involved (in the political process) at a young age. Many of the students that come through the program end up becoming state representatives or in some shape or form serving the public,” Olson said. “Students see if this is something they want to pursue later on in life, and if not, no disadvantage. Students get a really well-rounded perspective of what happens here at the state level.”

According to Olson, more information about the high school page program and application process is included in a series of videos. According to Olson and the Minnesota House of Representatives website, the 2017 application is due Dec. 1.

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Minnesota House of Representatives offers annual page program