What does it mean to serve in Washington, D.C., as a Senate page when you are a junior in high school?
We didn't have to go far to find out, since we happen to have one living right here in Geneva.
, a junior at Geneva High School, has developed a passion for American policy and is intrigued by our political system, from local politics to the national and international levels. After being an active participant in the mock city council and shadowing city workers in Geneva, she's excited to be able to see firsthand all the action in Washington as she serves alongside 29 other pages from across the country for the next three months.
The Senate pages carry out various functions under the direction of U.S. senators and their staff members.
Levy started her public-service career at the ripe old age of 6, as a member of the student council in grade school. She also knows how to dance, having been an Irish dancer since she was 4 years old.
Being curious about what kind of upbringing it takes to raise a future policy maker, I spoke with Maureen's mom, Bernadette Levy who said they have always traveled together (with no TVs or video games in tow), frequently going to museums and visiting historical locations. They have made sure the kids disconnect from technology and activities to have some down time.
"Having time for their own thoughts and a strong faith background helps with the most important priorities, like being comfortable in their own skin, learning to compromise and being kind to everyone by trying to understand their point of view no matter what," she said.
Maureen is grateful especially to the Geneva teachers that have influence and inspired her.
"This is a tremendous honor, I am very thankful for all the opportunities that I've had from elementary through high school," she said. "I have a lot of respect for teachers; they do an incredible job."
She mentions Mrs. Kennedy, Mrs. Kenneth, and Mr. Japlan—all teachers who have had a positive influence on her. Of Mr. Japlan, she said "I hope to inspire like he inspired me."
We are excited for you, Maureen! Just remember us ... the little people in the valley.