Trinity King, 17, had expressed to her parents an interest in government and was recently able to take it a step further when she went to Austin to work for a few hours as an honorary page at the state capitol. 

Students from six to 18 years old serve as honorary pages and witness the legislative process from inside the capitol walls. Honorary pages during their final hour are granted floor access and given the chance of a lifetime. During her three-hour shift with the Texas Senate, King was given the opportunity to see the Texas government at work as well as the lawmaking process.

During the Bridge City High School junior’s time at the capitol, she witnessed senators discussing laws on child abuse and various policies. She found it interesting, but no significant bills were passed during her visit.

King met with Senator Robert Nichols. She then reported to the Sergeant-at-Arms office where she picked up messages and took them through the underground tunnels to other office locations. The office of the Sergeant-at-Arms is responsible for accommodating honorary senate page request from senators and their staff. The duties of a page include making deliveries to senate offices and assisting with assignments from senate offices such as making copies, faxing and filing.

To be a page, boys must wear a suit and tie while girls are required to wear a dress or shirt and blouse. Most importantly is comfortable shoes.

King worked diligently for two hours delivering messages.

During her third hour she sat in on the senate session in progress. However, she continued to take senators notes.

It is not guaranteed a page will get to work on the floor, but if the senate is in session and working on the floor then every effort is made to have the page on the floor. However, on days when work is done in committees and not on the  floor, pages are assigned to other work related to the legislative process.

The places she went inside the capitol while working was different than what she would have seen on a tour which was an added benefit.

King said she gained some important information such as how the senate works and how bills are passed.

“It was a lot of work,” King said.

But, she added, the experience was worth it and she would recommend it to others.

‘It was a lot of fun to watch and listen to her talk about what she got to do,” said Mike King, Trinity’s father. “It was an exciting day and we are appreciative for the opportunity.”

For more information on being a page, contact Senator Robert Nichols office in Austin at 1-800-959-8633.

Photo: Trinity King, 17, of Bridge City, takes a picture with Senator Robert Nichols, during a recent visit at the state capitol where she served as an honorary page.