Nicola Orlovsky, with Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles. Photo courtesy of Washington State Legislative Support Services
Nicola Orlovsky, with Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles. Photo courtesy of Washington State Legislative Support Services

During the week of March 9, Nicola Orlovsky served as a page in the Washington state Senate. Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36th District) sponsored Orlovsky’s weeklong experience in the Legislature.

During the week, pages assist senators and staff, attend lectures with guest speakers and go to page school, where they create their own bills in a mock committee setting. Orlovsky and a fellow page drafted a bill that would fund programs to reduce hunger and child suffering. The bill would fund more free and reduced lunches and implement a Breakfast After the Bell program in public schools.

Orlovsky was introduced to the page program in school.

“I thought it sounded amazing that kids could come here and experience real politics, see senators pass bills and laws and, really, just the whole process,” she said.

Highlights of the week included learning the walking patterns on the floor, navigating the buildings on campus and meeting Kohl-Welles, Orlovsky said.

“I was surprised to see senators so relaxed and joking with each other on the floor,” she said.

Orlovsky said she would recommend the page program to anyone interested.

“Bring comfortable shoes, and don’t stress too much about it,” Orlovsky said. “You can make a few mistakes — the senators aren’t like the police — and it’s a lot of fun.”

Orlovsky, 14, is an eighth-grader at McClure Middle School. She also enjoys swimming, piano and reading.