Minnesota High School Page Program connects students with legislators

Mia DiLorenzo, freshman apprentice

Heather Edelson was recently elected to represent Minnesota’s District 49A, which covers most of Edina. In preparation for the upcoming legislative session, Representative-elect Edelson is calling for all Edina High School juniors to submit their applications to the Minnesota High School Page Program. The program gives students a glimpse into the duties and inner workings of the Minnesota state legislature.

The weeklong program includes individual meetings with state legislators, assisting legislators in session, participating in a mock committee session, and countless opportunities to connect with lobbyists, members of the judiciary, members of the press, and other legislators.

The page program welcomes all juniors, regardless of political ideology. “The Page Program is great because it is a non-partisan resource. It isn’t affiliated with the DFL or with the GOP, it’s through the Minnesota House of Representatives,” Edelson said.

Among many things, the program allows students to connect with legislators on a number of topics that are important to them. Students are able to voice their opinions in a professional and impactful environment. Pages are exposed to constructive conflict, something they may not have previously heard of. They also can watch legislators discuss the implications and benefits of various bills, all while absorbing healthy debates in a professional setting. These unique experiences translate into real world applications.

EHS has a plethora of resources that ineligible lowerclassmen are able to use. Edelson said she is happy to get in touch with any high school student looking for an internship opportunity. “If for whatever reason the Page Program doesn’t work out, I want [students] to know that I want them down in my office for an internship,” Edelson said. She is one of the many representatives who offer internship opportunities at the Capitol.

No prior political experience is required to apply and participate in the program. “So often people will say that they don’t know enough about politics for them to get engaged, they might say ‘I don’t know enough about politics, therefore, I’m not going to apply’. What I want them to know is that they know more than they think, and I really want them to apply,” Edelson said. Students can find the application online at the High School Page Program websiteApplications are due on November 28.