AHS Junior Takes on Capitol Hill



Censoni stands in front of the Daniel Webster Page Residence building

Becoming a U.S. Senate page is a competitive, fierce battle, resulting in few victories for those who apply. Acceptance is limited, as only 30 page positions are available to serve the Senate’s 100 members.  Junior Annaclare Censoni, one of Adams’s own, is one of the few students to be accepted into the elite program for the 2016 spring session.

On January 29, Censoni will be traveling to Washington D.C., where, until June 10, she will be spending her days tending to the needs of the Senate. This is a job composed of many tedious tasks, including delivering correspondence and legislative material, taking messages for members, calling them to the phone, prepping the chamber for Senate sessions, and carrying bills and amendments to the desk. In addition to the responsibilities held regarding the Senate, pages must attend classes each morning to begin the long, tiresome work days.

For the fall and spring sessions, pages must reside in the Daniel Webster Page Residence, located two blocks from the Hart Senate Office Building. The building is comprised of two floors of housing: one for girls and one for boys. Security is strict, as police hold a security desk which is maintained around the clock in addition to the security alarm system and identification requirements.

In order to become a Senate page, one must meet certain qualifications. In addition to being a junior in high school, each page is required to have United States citizenship, a minimum grade point average of a 3.0, and sponsorship by a senator. Moreover, all must complete a general health assessment to ensure they are capable of completing the strenuous work days on the Senate floor.

In spite of the long days, which often prove hard and demanding, many essential benefits and unique life experiences accompany the job. Perhaps the most evident of these opportunities afforded to Senate pages is the ability to meet some of the country’s most prominent leaders and observe disputes on the Senate floor firsthand.

“It [the opportunity]definitely opens up the colleges I can go to,” Censoni said, adding to the long list of opportunities which will be afforded to her after going through the program. “It also provides me with the opportunity to be part of a network with some of our nation’s leaders, as well as allow me a unique learning experience to learn about our government.”

The program does contain a few minor drawbacks. In addition to the long days, cell phones and televisions are prohibited for the six month period, and a strict curfew must be abided by each night; however, according to Censoni , the few drawbacks of the program do not begin to compare to the benefits.

Mr. Mark MacFarland, Censoni’s AP Government teacher, helped Censoni achieve this opportunity through his letter of recommendation and his unconditional support.

“In my mind, the reason why she is such a good fit [for the program] is because she has passion for this,” said MacFarland. “She wants to be in politics, she wants to be at the heart of what’s going on in decision making, and ultimately she wants to make a career out of this. And so when you think about a kid who is really motivated to be involved in something they want to do after high school, this is perfect.”

Censoni is delighted to be afforded such a unique opportunity. “I still don’t believe it,” Censoni said. “It hasn’t really hit me yet, and I’m sure it won’t hit me until I’m actually there. I wanted to apply because it seemed like a really good opportunity, but I never expected anything to come of it.”