Blake Arendse, an 8th grader at Cascade Middle School, recently spent a week at the Capitol working as a page for the Washington State Senate. Blake was one of 36 students who served as Senate pages for the 15th week of the 2017 legislative session.
He was sponsored by 39th Legislative District Sen. Kirk Pearson.
“Blake is a solid kid who cares about helping people,” said Pearson. “I’m glad we could connect and share a bit about what we have in common.”
Pearson and Arendse bonded over a shared interest in collecting matchbox cars.
The Senate Page Program is a unique opportunity for Washington students to spend a week working in the Legislature. Students are responsible for transporting documents between offices, as well as delivering messages and mail. Pages spend time in the Senate chamber and attend page school to learn about parliamentary procedure and the legislative process. Students also draft their own bills and engage in a mock session.
Blake chose to apply to the program to learn more about how government works. Over the course of the week, his interest in politics continued to grow.
“I wanted to see what it’s like to be a senator,” he said. “People might think being on the Senate floor would be just sitting and voting ‘aye,’ but the senators were actually joking a lot and having fun with it.”
Blake, 14, is the son of Brian and Dana Arendse of Sedro Woolley. Both his parents work in manufacturing, his father for TruckVault in Sedro Woolley and his mother for Dri-Eaz in Burlington. They work to build highly specialized equipment that ships all across the country.
Blake is interested in pursuing manufacturing for a career and also hopes to do more to help others, such as connecting kids in need with higher education.
Students interested in the Senate Page Program are encouraged to visit: http://leg.wa.gov/Senate/Administration/PageProgram/