New Kent High School freshman Campbell Gowdy was recently chosen to represent the 97th District as a House page for the 2019 General Assembly session.
Campbell was welcomed by her representative, Del. Chris Peace, to the General Assembly. House pages are chosen each year by the speaker of the house, appointing students ages 13 and 14 from across the state, according to a news release from Del. Peace’s office.
Campbell said she applied to the program in October after requesting letters of support from Del. Peace and the New Kent County Board of Supervisors.
The 14-year-old said she is honored to have the opportunity to represent her county.
“The program has been very interesting, fun and exciting so far,” Campbell said. “One thing that I look forward to every day is running errands, no matter how big or small, especially on the floor during session. Sometimes, an errand will be as important as going to get lunch for a delegate or running something to a delegate’s office and sometimes an errand will be as minor as stopping by the stock room to grab a binder to deliver to a certain room.”
Campbell said no matter how big or small the task, she remembers that she’s a small part of making a big difference in the General Assembly.
“After the first two weeks in session I realized, oh my goodness, I am representing my whole county in a place where laws are made and changed,” Campbell said.
Campbell’s favorite subject in school is history. Outside of school she enjoys basketball, tennis and is a member of the Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project, according to the news release.
Meeting the other pages from various localities has been interesting, and she said she has made new friends.
“I would say that I have a friendship of some sort with every other page that is here,” Campbell said. “We all put in the same amount of work to get here and we understand that we’re all at the same level. Even though we’re from different localities, we still share similar interests and enjoy having this amazing opportunity together.”
The pages stay in a hotel in Richmond during the week from Sunday evening to Friday at noon and go home on the weekends. Pages get roommate assignments and serve until the end of the session, according to the General Assembly’s website.
This year’s session length is 46 days and began Jan. 9. Pages have mandatory study halls during the week and have certified teachers to help if needed, but are expected to coordinate with their schools for exams and tests, according to the website.
Campbell’s parents, Michelle and Chris Gowdy, said they are extremely proud of their daughter.
“She has embraced this opportunity and is learning so much about government, organization, time management and communication,” Michelle Gowdy said.
“She also understands the commitment and sacrifice these elected officials and all those around them make in order to make the commonwealth run,” Chris Gowdy said.
Peace said Campbell is a smart young person with a very bright future.
“I want to give her every opportunity to have this once in a lifetime experience,” Peace said in the news release. “With a few members who were once pages, I wouldn’t be surprised to see her in the legislature one day.”
Pages assist members of the House of Delegates, House clerk’s staff and other legislative staff in daily tasks during the session.
New Kent High School principal Chris Valdrighi said he is proud that Campbell is representing the county and New Kent High.
“It’s a great honor to have one of our students chosen and it will be a great learning experience for her,” Valdrighi said. “She will be a great representative of our school and county.”
Luck can be reached at 757-291-2038, firstname.lastname@example.org or @ashleyrluck on Twitter