Each fall, some of the most talented high school juniors and seniors from across the state are selected to serve as pages for the upcoming legislative session. Pages are an instrumental part of the work we do in the legislature. The tasks they assist with help all of the members and staff to be more efficient which helps us do a better job serving the people of Iowa. It is also an incredible chance for students to gain first-hand experience in the daily workings of state government while making lifelong friendships with peers from across the state.
As House Majority Leader, I have an office page to assist me and my staff. This year, I selected Ben Lanham from Urbandale. I’ve asked him to share his perspective on being a page.
Hello, my name is Ben Lanham, and it is my honor to serve House Majority Leader Chris Hagenow as his page this legislative session. I am a senior at Valley High School in West Des Moines and live in Urbandale. After graduation, I will be attending Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia to pursue a degree in Pre-Law.
In my family we often talk about politics and our discussions can get interesting since we do not always agree on everything. My mom knew that with my passion for government and politics, a page position would fit me well. After some debating, I decided to go ahead and apply, and I’m glad I did.
I submitted an application, including letters of recommendation from my school counselor, parents, and three others in October. About a week after I applied, I found out that I got an interview, and after the interview I got the job. In mid-November we had an orientation with the other pages and that’s where I interviewed to be a leadership page and serve in the Speaker’s office or the Majority Leader’s office. I received a call shortly after asking if I’d accept a position as the Majority Leader’s page; I eagerly accepted.
Representative Hagenow is fun to work with. My biggest job is putting all of the legislative receptions and events into a legislative social calendar for all the Representatives to look at. I also answer phone calls from constituents wishing to share their support, opposition, ideas, concerns, or questions with the Majority Leader. I work very close with Alex Byrnes, the Speaker’s page, and help assist her if she needs anything. We both take pictures of Representatives with their constituents and write press releases.
This is truly a great experience; I highly recommend this job for any high school student interested in government, to see firsthand how our state government operates. This job gave me many skills and life experiences that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’d like to thank Representative Hagenow for giving me this opportunity.