Some aspects of government can’t be learned in a classroom.
So when two Glynn County students recently got the chance to work as pages for David Ralston, the Speaker of the House for the Georgia House of Representatives, they didn’t waste a moment of their time at the Capitol building in Atlanta.
In fact, they arrived two hours early.
“We did get there two hours early, so it was 7:30 and we weren’t supposed to be there until 9:30,” said Sarah Haymans, a senior at Brunswick High. “We got to watch all the staffers coming in, all the representatives, and see how they start their mornings.”
Haymans, along with Ivey Jorgensen, a senior at Frederica Academy, had the opportunity to be among around 20 students paging for Ralston on Jan. 30.
“It was very interesting,” Haymans said. “Being able to go up there and be a part of it, you learn stuff that you can’t be taught in a classroom.”
As pages, the two relayed messages between state representatives and lobbyists during a day of committee meetings.
Jorgensen said the experience opened her eyes to the workings of government in a way her teachers never had.
“It was a really amazing experience, to be around the politicians and the Speaker of the House and all of the representatives, and getting to overhear what they were discussing,” she said.
And for Haymans, her day at the state Capitol provided a glimpse into the day-to-day work of a career she hopes to go into.
“For a long time, I’ve had the goal of hopefully double majoring in political science and philosophy or communication, and then going into law school,” she said. “And then one day, in the very distant future, I want to try to run for public office, hopefully in our state legislature, because I feel like it’s the closest to home and it’s the people who I can relate to and where I can do the most good.”
Haymans had paged at the state Capitol once before, in middle school, but she said this time she went to Atlanta with the intention of learning all she could about the field she someday hopes to work in.
“The first time that I paged, I don’t remember much of it because I was only in sixth grade,” she said. “But now that I’m more serious about thinking about careers and options, I really wanted to see more of what was the daily routine of a representative.”
Spotlight on Schools appears Thursdays. Contact Lauren McDonald at lmcdonald@golden isles.news or at 265-8320, ext. 322 to suggest a topic for a column.