Each year the Iowa Senate and the Iowa House of Representatives employ ambitious high school juniors and seniors of high academic standing from around the state to serve as Pages for the legislative session. Southeast Polk Seniors, Ami Penquite and Jackson Birdwell, were chosen to work at the Iowa Capitol as Pages. Their work began on January 14, 2019 and lasted the entire legislative session.
Serving as a Page provided an incredible opportunity to experience working in a professional work environment while learning the inside workings of government and lawmaking. Ami and Jackson were two of ten Pages for the Iowa Senate. In this position, they worked alongside our Iowa Senators on a daily basis. The duties of Legislative Pages vary slightly, but they generally provide valuable assistance to legislators and legislative staff. Tasks include collating and distributing the bill packets, delivering messages from the lobbyists and constituents, distributing legislation, assisting committee chairpersons and sorting amendments. Pages are expected to exercise extreme discretion throughout their employment. Adherence to all legislative policies and procedures is expected, including strict adherence to policies regarding gifts, sales of goods and services, and more.
Ami’s had the opportunity to meet 5 presidential candidates and is looking forward to following them on the 2020 campaign trail and watching them in debates. Ami plans on attending Iowa State University in the fall majoring in history/pre-law. She will be a part of the 3+3 program attached to Drake Law. Her goal is to get a law degree from Drake University after Iowa State.
One of Jackson’s favorite memories was making and decorating boxes for all the senators to move out of the Senate floor at the end of the session. He enjoyed incorporating their personalities and events into the boxes and the senator’s reactions. He will be attending Texas Tech University this fall, majoring in political science and plans to attend law school post-graduation with the hope of possibly holding a public office someday in the future.
Congratulations to Ami and Jackson for being chosen for this once in a lifetime learning opportunity!