Beyond the classroom walls: my life as a State Capitol page

Taylor Teifke, Memorial Staff Writer

As a high school student, the prospect of college and scholarships has been a constant weight in my mind. While internships were also available, I did not believe I would have time in my schedule to accommodate for working outside of school, with homework and extracurriculars.

However, during an interview with a few of Oklahoma’s newest representatives, I was recommended to apply for a page internship at the Oklahoma State Capitol. A page is a young individual employed by a congressional body to carry messages or run errands for representatives or senators.

At first, I had my doubts about being selected for an internship. After all, thousands of other high school students were applying for the same position. When I had not heard back from the representative coordinating the internship in quite some time, I was beginning to think I had not been accepted. About a month after I applied, I was informed that I was indeed going to page for representative Lewis Moore the week of Feb. 18 to 21.

Going into the internship, I had very little idea of what to expect, aside from the professional dress code. I stayed in a hotel with the other 23 pages from all over Oklahoma, none of whom I had met before the internship.

The paging itself was particularly exciting; while I had been on the capitol grounds during the statewide teacher walkout in April 2018, I had never been inside of the building until this experience. My days at the capitol primarily consisted of running errands for the representatives, such as delivering messages, invitations and important documents, including bills and amendments.

I absolutely loved walking through the halls of the Capitol every day, though my absolute favorite moment of each day were the House sessions. The pages were allowed to sit in the House with their representatives during legislative sessions, which I found to be an extremely enriching experience. I felt honored to gain a firsthand experience, helping me to better understand governmental processes, of how bills are discussed and passed and even new laws made.

This experience was one of the greatest achievements I have ever had the honor of completing and I wholeheartedly encourage students to apply for this internship, regardless of college major or future career.

Contact Taylor Teifke at [email protected]