Rep. Ron Stephens hosted 30 Richmond Hill students at the Georgia Capitol Monday.
Teacher Russ Carpenter said five of the students served as legislative pages for the day, while most of the others were members of the school's Young Republicans, which he sponsors.
“It was an excellent learning experience as we saw firsthand bills moving from committee to passage in the House and Senate,” Carpenter said. “Rep Stephens also recognized our group on the floor of the House.”
Below is a compilation of the students’ thoughts on the trip.
“I found it interesting how the lobbyists relayed their concerns to the representatives during session. Also, being a part of the process as a page gave me a unique viewpoint of how state legislation evolves from introduction of the bill to debate, to vote, and into law.” Bailey Pelletier (senior)
“During the tour, I enjoyed observing the legislative process within the Georgia State Capitol. It was interesting to move from the Ways and Means Committee into the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate. I thoroughly enjoyed the questions asked during sessions and the heated debates that followed.” Logan Brown (senior)
“As a page, I experienced the hustle and bustle that is state government and it was exciting to see all the relationships and procedures that exist within the capitol. The trip made me eager to pursue a career in government.” Abigail Sides (senior)
“Through the experience of being a page I was able to see the importance of state legislation and legislative process we have read about happen in front of me. The amount of bills going through the House and Senate made me more aware of state legislative effect. This entire experience has energized me to take more political action in my future.” Vivian McGaughey (senior)
“Being able to meet Rep. Stephens was such an honor. He’s a great man and I’m not saying that just because he paid for our dinner the night we arrived.” JC Balio (junior)
“I loved having this chance to go to the capitol and learn about how the government of Georgia works. It gave me and others the opportunity to look into a possible career option and see what it’s like.” Everett Wayman (sophomore)
“It was exciting to see the Georgia House of Representatives in action. We learned about the legislative branch in our government class, but experiencing the House provides a whole new perspective. It was a fantastic experience to be able to participate in the Georgia House of Representatives as a Page.” Cayleigh Burgdorf (senior)
“It was a memorable experience to represent Richmond Hill High School while being in the Georgia House of Representatives. I’m glad I got the chance to become a page and watch what we learned in government come to life.” Darienne Stembridge (senior)
“This trip to Atlanta really opened my eyes and showed me how different people’s mindsets are regarding issues like taxes and immigration. Sitting in on the Senate gallery was such a unique experience. This kind of setting really showed those of us who want to pursue careers in a political field how complex the government system is.” Madison Motley (junior)