After hearing from a friend about her time as a governor’s page, 17-year-old Kaitlin Chandler of Lincolnton was intrigued and decided it was something she’d like to experience for herself.
Chandler was the only student from Lincoln County student to join an 11-member page group to visit Raleigh for a 4-day trip late last month.
During her stay at the state’s capital, the North Lincoln High senior had a busy schedule. She spent her days with the Department of Cultural Services, and her nights visiting nearby museums and attending House and Senate budget meetings – where she realized how much she didn’t know about the processes officials go through, she said.
She and her group took trips to various landmarks, such as the Executive Mansion, Supreme Court and the N.C. Correctional Institute for women. Chandler wasn’t exactly sure why the latter was a stop on the tour, probably to keep the students on the right track, she joked.
Office work and delivering mail were among her daily routine tasks, as she helped out around the office and tried to soak in as much as she could from the experience.
Chandler submitted an online application, her high school transcripts and recommendations from a teacher and someone from her community, for consideration for the program.
The year-round program provides North Carolina high school students the chance to learn about their state government, while staying in Raleigh. Chandler’s grandparents live in the area, so she was able to lodge with them during her trip.
Though she isn’t planning on majoring in politics or seek high office, she marveled about her feeling of newfound independence and the experience of working for the governor and other state officials.
“Overall, it was such an eye-opening experience for me to see all the work that goes into the government,” Chandler told the Times-News Wednesday. “It affects our every day life, and allowed me to get a better understanding of the government; I made connections for college and the future.”
Chandler plans to study speech pathology at Appalachian State University next fall.