Arielle Christopher, 15, of Streamwood, received an opportunity to see the legislative process firsthand when she served as honorary page in the Illinois Senate at the State Capitol in Springfield Feb. 19.
The Honorary Page Program allows students the opportunity to observe how bills are introduced, discussed and voted on before being delivered to the governor's desk for signature. Senate pages may attend committee hearings and serve the senators by running errands and delivering important messages in the Senate Chamber during the Legislative Session day.
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"I really enjoyed getting to meet so many different senators today that were Republican and Democrat," Arielle said.
Arielle's sponsor for the day in the senate was Illinois Senator Michael Noland 22nd Legislative District. Arielle began her day at 9 a.m. by attending the hearing on bills for the Criminal Law committee with Senator Noland who is the committee chairman. During the hearing, she heard a victim testify about cyberbullying and the inappropriate use of images on the Internet.
"I saw so many exciting things today," Arielle said. "I even got a chance to sit in the chair President Obama used as a senator."
The Illinois Senate assembled at noon and Arielle listened as she heard her name announced in the Senate Chamber. Senator Noland also presented her with a copy of the Illinois Blue Book and introduced her to several senators who autographed their photo in the book.
The Illinois Blue Book is a biennial publication that includes biographies of Illinois elected officials, information on the state government, and a chronology of Illinois history.
Arielle ended her day at 3 p.m. with a visit to the office of Lieutenant Governor Shelia Simon. The lieutenant governor greeted Arielle with a friendly handshake, talked about the duties of her office, and posed with Arielle for photos.
Arielle attends Streamwood High School, is a member of the Alexian Brothers Women & Children's Hospital Youth Board, a member of the Schaumburg Expressions Dance Company, a volunteer for Operation Welcome You Home, and is the reigning Northern Illinois Scholarship Program Social Ambassador Queen 2014.
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