House page program open to students

By Rep. Sherrie Conley

The Oklahoma House of Representatives is now taking applications from high school juniors and seniors to participate in our 2022 Page Program for the second session of the 58th Legislature.

This is such a fun learning experience for young people who will soon be eligible to vote and to participate more fully in public service

The experience provides an opportunity to engage in state government from a perspective very few are afforded. This is an excellent leadership role and sets you apart from your peers on college applications and resumes.

House pages serve four days in the office of the representative from their House district.

If paging during the first weeks of session, attending committee meetings can be an interesting way to see how legislation gets passed through to the House floor.

Pages might run errands, sit in on floor work and help with other tasks.

I've heard many say the best part of paging is participating in a mock legislative session, where they are elected to various positions by their peers then discuss and debate a piece of legislation.

Paging is a great way to learn more about state government and the legislative process. It also allows young people to meet others from across the state who have similar interests and to interact with legislators and other elected officials. Pages also are given behind-the-scenes tours of the Capitol and selected state agencies.

I've hosted several pages in the past, and I believe all had a valuable experience and wish they had participated during both their junior and senior years.

The Page Program starts the first week of the legislative session, which this year begins Feb. 7. It runs through May.

Those selected to the program arrive in Oklahoma City on Sunday and serve Monday through Thursday at the Capitol.

Hotel accommodations and chaperones are provided for all students, and pages are transported to and from the Capitol daily. They are closely supervised at all times and are not permitted to leave the hotel or the Capitol without appropriate supervision.

I encourage parents, teachers and school leadership to promote this opportunity to learn about our state government. If interested, apply early. There's only one page a week for each district, and the weeks fill up quickly.

I look forward to the opportunity to engage with students and urge any high school junior or senior from my district to apply for this program.

The application and more information about the program can be found on the House website: https://okhouse.gov/Pages/Index.aspx.

I promise it will be rewarding, and I anticipate this session will be exciting.

(Sherrie Conley serves House District 20 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Her district includes parts of Cleveland, Garvin, McClain and Pottawatomie counties.)

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