When you say the names of many Senators and Legislators, or mention activities around the General Assembly, why does my face light up like I’m a little girl in a candy store? It’s simply because of my experiences during my freshman year. I have been a page both in the Senate and the House of Representatives, spoken before their education committees, and lobbied for the passage of HB230/SB189, but the best part of it all is the relationships I have built with people through my visits! In 1st Timothy 4:12 it says, “Do not let any one look down on you because you are young but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.” I took that verse to mind when I was a page at the General Assembly both times, and was thankful that many there didn’t look down on me, but treated me as a young adult who was ready to learn.
I paged for the Senate for a week in March. I went on errands for the Legislative Aids and different Senators and attended committee meetings. I was sponsored by Senator Rabin and during that week I was able to spend extra time with he and his staff, which was so much fun! I learned more about the Senate process while I was there also. The page supervisor and I were talking one day and he pointed out that I was one of the most passionate pages that he has had this session. I enjoy it but I take it seriously.
I was also a page in the House during crossover week this year which was very interesting, but extremely busy. That is when I got to know our Speaker of the House, Thom Tillis! He is truly an amazing man. I had met Representative Tillis several times, but didn’t think that he would remember me. I was very surprised when he walked up to me during session on Monday and said, “Well hi there, Ms. Mary!”
I was thrilled to discover the following day that I would have the privilege of standing beside Speaker Tillis on the platform during session! He told my mother that I was smiling the whole time! I enjoyed every conversation I had with him that week and I will miss him if he decides to run for Senate.
My experiences as a page and an unofficial lobbyist have taught me a lot about being in the workplace and about the legislative process. I have gotten to meet several new people that have had a special influence on me. Today I watched the bill that we worked so hard for signed into law by Governor McCory – I can’t believe it!! I’m so excited to see what doors God will open for me next!
Written by Guest Contributor: Mary Hanna
Bio: Mary is a 15 year old homeschool student. She is a Christian Conservative, an avid reader, and enjoys being actively involved in politics. She is the President of Generation Joshua of Lee County.
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