2 Nov 2016

      When I arrived at the legislative building early on a Tuesday morning, I hadn’t known anything of what I was going to do, but when one is suited up and going into an important place,   it is hard to feel like anything could be wrong. Even though I had no idea originally of what to do, the briefing was very clear and organized, and all of the house pages quickly got to know each other while getting ready for session.
     I was privileged to get to meet my sponsoring representative, Mr. John Szoka of District 45, for a few minutes the first day and then again for a brief chat the last day before leaving. I was glad to be able to meet my representative and to get to know him and some of what he did over the course of the legislative week. Another highlight of the week, which came once each day, was being able to attend house session. The other thirteen pages that week and I got to watch as our legislators proposed, discussed and debated the bills that govern our state today. A very interesting part of being a house page was getting to watch committee meetings, as most of the discussion on each particular bill takes place not in the session but in committee meetings getting the bills ready for session.
     All in all, it was an enjoyable week. Getting to see our local representatives do what they do was not only an honor but a great pleasure. Until then, I knew very little about how our state is governed, but from that experience, I have gained a lot of information about how and why things work the way they do; I would definitely do it again if I got the chance. I highly recommend the House Page Program to any who are interested in meeting their representatives, learning about their state government and having an enjoyable time doing both. For more information, you can find it at their website. http://www.ncleg.net/house/housepagesite

Darren Stephens, seventeen, enjoys team policy debate, plays the mandolin and works several hours a week with a local farmer. After graduating, he plans to join his father in the general appraisal business and serve in his community at the grassroots level.