PAGE Program introduces students to politics

PAGE Program introduces students to politics

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ATLANTA -

On any given day, you may see some young employees walking around the State Capitol. They're just doing their job as part of the PAGE program.

Since the early 1800s, young high school students have served as messengers at the State Capitol, using the exposure to get hands-on experience in politics. Centuries later, not much has changed.

Georgia State Senator Judson Hill is the Chairman of the Finance Committee now, but he once walked the capital in a more humble position.

"I participated when I was young, in the PAGE Program. And I'm really excited because over the years I've had dozens and dozens of pages come into the senate and help us out," said Hill.

For one 17-year-old, it's now her turn to be a page.

"The most exciting part would probably have to be being able to work with and meet the senators from all of the different counties. And being able to get an understanding of what's going on," said the young page.

Being a page is an age old tradition. Students, 12 and over, come to the state capital and spend the day working. They deliver messages or important information during the legislative session. But the work is secondary to the overall experience.

"Seeing the young people go, ‘Wow, I've never been to my state capital,' they're excited and for the first time, they see may be life is bigger than just up and down their street in their neighborhood," Hill said.

The 17-year-old page been able to meet a few of the members of the senate, and says "they've been really nice and they've talked to me, and it was a good experience."

It's job that will keep you on your toes. The day can start as early as 8 a.m. and go as late as 6 p.m. But, as any former page will tell you, the real world experience is worth it.

"It really makes...it brings your classroom experience in school every single day really a live experience, and a wonderful opportunity to see your government at work," said Hill.

Pages get a little more than a pat on the back for their time as a page. At the end of the day they receive $10.
    
For more information on the PAGE Program, click here!

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