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SBS Student in the U.S. Senate

SBS Student in the U.S. Senate

One of Second Baptist School’s very own was one of 30 juniors from across the country selected by a United States Senator to serve as a Senate page last semester. Kara Swain ‘20 joyfully and eagerly served our nation as she played an integral role in today’s politics, while maintaining an academically rigorous course schedule and living 1,400 miles from home.

SBS is glad to have Kara back on campus for her senior year. From the busyness of the Nation’s Capital to returning to Houston for her final summer before college, Kara reflects on the time she spent serving in the Senate:

“In the spring of 2019, I began my full-time employment at the United States Senate. The Senate Page Program, founded by Daniel Webster in 1829, selects thirty Pages from thirty states to move to Washington, D.C. for a semester and assist the Senate in preparing the chamber for sessions, carrying bills and amendments to the desk, and delivering correspondence and legislative material within the Congressional complex. 

I lived in Webster Hall, a college-style dormitory located a block from the Hart Senate Building. As a Senate Page, I woke up at 4:45 a.m. and donned the trademark navy blue suit. The AP-style classes ranged from fifteen minutes to an hour based on what time the Senate convened that day; frequently, we would make up school hours on Saturday mornings if the Senate cloakrooms had scheduled early-morning votes.

After school, I took my seat with my shift of Pages on the Senate floor to be available as needed by the Senators and their staff. Using my training to “avoid the press at all costs,” I carried results of votes to the Senate Press Gallery amidst a throng of reporters that, upon reading my blue enamel nametag, would yell my name across the gilded Senate Reception Room, begging to see the final vote tally for an inside scoop. Stressful as it was, these belligerent reporters honed my resolve; after a few weeks, they stopped asking. 

Throughout my time in the Senate, I gained an understanding of the range of legislative bills that the Senate proceeds to on a daily basis. In a single week, the Senate approved eight nominated circuit judges, voted to override the President’s executive order, and passed legislation to make “Robocalling” a criminal offense. This fast paced environment taught me to think on my feet and be flexible when the wildly variant schedule inevitably changed. I fell in love with the District, the international community that resides there, and the general feeling of camaraderie between all senators. Even though I missed the second half of my junior year, I would not have traded this experience for the world.”

Thank you, Kara, for sharing your once in a lifetime experience with us!