Autrey enjoys life-changing experience as Senate page

Published 4:34 pm Wednesday, September 1, 2010

In March 2010, Taylor Autrey, a junior at Fort Dale Academy, was selected by Senator Richard Shelby to serve as a United States Senate Page for the July 2010 session of the Senate Page Program. Rising juniors and seniors are invited to be a part of this distinguished program which allows teenagers to play an important role in the daily activities of the United State Senate. This program proved to be a valuable and worthwhile experience for Taylor, daughter of Daniel and Julie Autrey of Greenville.

Pages play an important role in the day-to-day operation of the Senate. Duties include delivery of correspondence and legislative material within the Capitol Complex, taking messages for senators, preparing the Chamber for Senate sessions and carrying bills and amendments to the desk.

Pages serve the senators of the same political party of their sponsoring senator. On July 11 Taylor’s family checked her in at Webster Hall, the Senate Page dormitory, just one block from Capitol Hill. “I was placed in a dorm room with five other girls from all across the US: Missouri, Rhode Island, Virginia, South Dakota and Washington,” said Autrey.

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This life-changing experience enlightened Taylor on all aspects of how our nation is run.

“I was honored to serve on the floor when the new senator from West Virginia, Carte Goodwin, was sworn in. I heard testimonies lead by our own Senator Jeff Sessions as the debate over the Supreme Court nominee was argued on the Senate floor,” Autrey said.

Autrey said she was delighted to be working on the floor when the Senators were called to their desk to vote for the new Supreme Court Justice, Elena Kagan.

It wasn’t all work for the hometown girl.

“I was invited to a dinner party with other pages at the home of Senator Landrieu from Louisiana, and even shared a Twix candy bar with Senator Harry Reid from Nevada,” Autrey said.

During her stay in Washington she was also invited to Senator Session’s office to have a picture made, as well as her father’s good friend Congressman Jo Bonner, US Representative from Alabama’s 1st District.

“I have really gained a true interest in the political process and our government. I hope that will help me in my studies in AP American History and other extra-curricular activities at Fort Dale this year,” Autrey said.

It will be a busy year for the junior, who is secretary of the Student Government Association, as well as Secretary of her Junior Class, a member of the Senior Beta Club, National Honor Society, Key Club, a varsity cheerleader, and a varsity tennis team 2010 State Champion. She also maintains a 95 GPA at FDA.

“This was a great experience for me,” Autrey said. “I really do recommend this opportunity to anyone interested in serving our government and experiencing life in our nation’s capitol.”