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VHS Junior Spends Summer in Washington
Friday, 31 July 2009
July 31-- A Vidalia High School student has his sights set on becoming a politician.

Ben Devore, a junior at Vidalia High School, has spent the past month in Washington D.C. working as a page on Capitol Hill. He was chosen by Congressman John Barrow and says his duties range from delivering letters to putting up flags. On top of his page duties, Devore attended a 'page school' during his first few weeks in Washington.

"Well we live in the page dorms. It's about two blocks from the capitol buildings. We have 24-hour security. For the first three weeks, we also had school. We had a summer page school. The first week was government, the second one was leadership, and the third one was international relations. We would have to be up at school at 7:30 in the morning and we would be there
for an hour and a half. Then we would work from probably 9 until 5. I was one of the 6 pages out of the 70 or so selected to be a documentarian. Basically what that entails is we are at the front of the roster on each day. We'll pour water for the speaker, we'll have to actually go get the bill that will be presented that day in Congress and make sure that all the Congressmen that need it had it. And so we're up at the front every day. With that, you have to go through special orders, which sometimes last into the night. So there has been about 3 or 4 times when I've come home at 12:30 in
the morning," explains Devore.

Despite Devore's busy schedule, he has made time to check out the historical attractions found in Washington.

"The first two weeks, I was just consumed by work and didn't really have time to do anything. I do like the city overall. It's a really clean city and it's really quaint especially where we're living. But yeah, I've been able to go to places. I've been to Arlington and the Holocaust Museum and most of the monuments," explains Devore.

Devore has greatly enjoyed seeing legislatures partake in their every day activities, and his most memorable moment comes from one of his documentarian responsibilities.

"Thirty minutes before Congress starts, we have to go to the top of the capitol and raise the flag to tell everyone that the House is in session. And then when we finish, whether it's five o'clock that afternoon or 12:30 at night, we have to go back up to the capitol and lower the flag. Just when you go out there at nighttime, the view, you see all of Washington. Just to see that--it's crazy," says Devore.

Devore does have an interest in politics, and says this program has helped him see the behind-the-scene action in the legislature.

"I'm extremely interested in politics. I don't think that's out of the question, but certainly no time in the near future. I think the program overall has given me a great outlook to what politics really is. Working on the House floor everyday and seeing the ins and outs of what happens and stuff the general public doesn't see," says Devore.

But although Devore has had a great summer vacation, he is ready to return home.

"Yeah I kind of am. I've enjoyed this month here. It's probably been one of the greatest experiences I've had in my life. I wouldn't mind staying longer, but yeah I'm ready to go home," says Devore.
 
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