What do the Minnesota House High School Pages participate in?


If you ever need anything repeated, just please let me know. It’s
day one of the Minnesota House of Representatives High School Page Program. These high school juniors are
about to be immersed in the Minnesota Legislature. The experience will give them
a deep understanding of state government, but before they dive
into the legislative process, the pages go through an
orientation. We do some ice-breakers and introductions, and actually
read letters from previous week’s high school students and it’s kinda
just an experience for them to learn about what they may be getting into
for that week. With their orientation over, the pages sit in on committee meeting
getting an up-close look at legislative work being done. In this guide to the Minnesota House
High School Page Program, we learn what life’s like for students
participating in the week-long immersion at the State Capitol in Saint Paul. During the course of the week, pages
participate in a wide variety of experiences, including meeting face to face with
state leaders . . . and legislators that talk about
their experiences as public servants. It was really
enlightening because I got to see like a personal aspect from him. I got see, like, how he got interested in politics why he does what he does. Participants
even visit one-on-one with the legislator who represents
the district they are from. The meeting allows the Minnesota high
school pages to discuss what issues matter the most to them. He gave me a lot of good insights about what
really goes on here at the Capitol, what it’s like to be representative. Representatives like Mary Murphy say
they get something out of the visits too. Sometimes it’s, um, a lifelong connectedness, sometimes it’s just meeting the mom that’s come to pick her kid up, and said you know I was your high school
page, or the high school page saying my mom was do you remember her kind-of-thing. Pages may also meet with members of the judiciary, lobbyists, members of the media . . plus
you never know who might be right around the corner when
you come to the Capitol. A program favorite among participants is serving first-hand in the House
Chamber. The pages place copies of bills or other legislative materials on each
member’s desk. They deliver messages from the public or
other members. That was a really good experience
because I got me with the legislators I got to see what they did, how they acted. Mock committee sessions
give pages a feel for the workings at the Capitol.
At the beginning of the week we went and sat on some committees and so then it is
really interesting to actually be a part of the committee and, like, see how it
worked. The Chief Clerk’s Office holds
educational seminars that prepare pages for the mock
committees by helping them think critically There’s a reason that it’s called public policy. Not only do pages participate in mock committees, they also serve as support staff for
real committee hearings. Participants should expect to take part
in scheduled program activities from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Friday. Whether its meeting
with a legislative leader or assisting on the House floor, each day
is filled with activities that keep participants on their toes. But pages will be the
first ones to tell you after the week is done, it is well worth it. The full view of state government leaves
them wanting more. What’s the number one question you get
from students about the page program? What are they always asking you? When the week is over they are always asking if they can stay longer. Here’s how you or someone you know can
become the next House high school page.

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