Dublin Villager

D.C. trip spurs junior's interest in politics

By

For one month over the summer, Alex Schepflin saw the dome of the U.S. Capitol every morning.

The Coffman High School junior worked in the office of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in July as part of the 2014 Summer Page Program.

He found out about the program through his uncle, who is a Senate sergeant at arms.

"I thought it would be a fun experience being with senators every day," Schepflin said. "It was the best time of my life being down there for four weeks. I wish I could go back."

Throughout July, Schepflin would deliver papers to offices and Senate buildings via an underground subway, take senators water and run other errands.

"There were 50 kids, so there was a lot of downtime on the floor," he said. "You would have an hour on the floor and an hour off and there could only be six people on the floor at a time."

In off hours, Schepflin would return to dorms with the other pages or explore the city.

"There was a dorm right down the street that all the people stayed in except the commuters," he said. "We would all go out on the town until 9 p.m. and then we had to go back. We chilled in the dorms and played cards. But we explored everything in D.C. and went out every night and found something cool to do."

Getting into the program was tough, but Schepflin said most pages had a family member involved in the Senate.

"There were people there from everywhere," he said. "There was a girl from Hawaii and a guy from Alaska. It was awesome. We all keep in touch."

The month in the capital city proved to be a major learning experience for Schepflin.

"I learned that the Senate is pretty lazy, first thing," he said. "Most of the time nobody is in the chamber unless they're talking, and no one is in the chamber listening to them. Everything that happens in the Senate happens in committee meetings."

He didn't spend much time with Reid during the program, but did have a chance to meet with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) from Cleveland.

"My favorite part was meeting Sen. Brown," he said. "I had coffee with Sen. Brown."

The page program is only available to teens once, but Schepflin plans to go back in another capacity in college.

"Before this I had no idea what I wanted to do," he said. "After going to this, I'm very interested in politics."

For now, Schepflin is back in Dublin returning to his normal routine of year-round hockey and a lot of golf. He's back in school this week, a long way from Washington, D.C.

"Just working in the Capitol every day is jaw dropping," he said. "Walking and seeing the beautiful sight of the dome is great."

Comments