Student Spotlight: Iowa Legislative Page Program
Senior, West Liberty High School
Interested in learning more about politics and Iowa’s legislative process, West Liberty senior Randy Tapia took advantage of a unique opportunity to serve as a page in the state Capitol last spring.
Each year, the Legislative Page program seeks high school juniors and seniors from across the state who want to learn through hands-on apprenticeship in the Senate, House or legislative services agency. Randy, who served a half legislative session, began as a page in January of 2014 and worked for four months with staff and representatives in the state Capitol building in Des Moines.
Students must undergo a competitive application process to participate in the program. Once admitted, pages have many responsibilities that directly impact legislative work.
Randy and other legislative pages provided assistance to representatives and staff by running errands, delivering messages, and distributing bills and amendments. Pages also staff committee meetings and help the chairperson by handing out materials during the meetings.
A junior at the time, Randy had to tackle the demands of holding down a 35 hour per week page position and staying on track with regular high school course work. Pages are responsible for not only the duties of their job, but also for making living, transportation, and class arrangements. For Randy, this meant driving to Des Moines each week to work full-time as a page Monday through Thursday, and driving back to West Liberty each Friday so he could take classes and stay on track to graduate.
This year, Randy is busy with college applications and is continuing to look for unique opportunities to get involved and make a difference in the community.