CFHS junior off to Washington

Maggie Devine/Editor-in-Chief

CFHS junior and Hi-Line sports editor Ben Olson has been chosen to serve as a congressional page for Representative Bruce Braley. He will work and go to school in Washington, D.C., from Jan. 24 to June 4.

“My dad got an email forwarded to him from someone from Braley’s office saying that there was an opportunity to be a page. I got the email two weeks before the application was due, so I thought about doing it for one week, and when I decided to do it, I had about five days to get all of my recommendations and essays done, so it was hectic, but I’m definitely glad I chose to send in my app,” Olson said.

Congressman Braley said he chose Olson because of his many outstanding achievements.

“This is an extremely rare opportunity to see how our nation’s government works, and I’m proud to have had the opportunity to nominate Ben,” Braley said. “Ben’s strong academic transcript, Eagle Scout Rank and involvement in his community reflect the outstanding moral character, dedication to public service and emotional maturity needed for success in this program.”

Braley nominated Olson and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi then confirmed Olson for the position.

Olson said he doesn’t completely know what to expect during his stay in Washington, D.C., but he is optimistic it will be a good experience.

“I really have no idea what it’s going to be like. I’m hoping that it is going to be exciting and not too stressful, but it will definitely be a change. This is one of those things where you don’t know what it’s going to be like until you get there,” Olson said.

Olson said his parents are concerned about the distance.

“I’m pretty sure that my mom is more nervous than I am about me being gone for so long, but I told her that’s what cell phones and email are for,” he said.

Olson will study in the attic of the House of Representatives for about half a day on average, and he will work the other half of the day. He will earn about $1,000 a month, not counting taxes, but he will also be responsible for paying rent on his apartment. Among the jobs Olson will be responsible for are answering phones and delivering messages.

“I’m really excited for this,” Olson said. “I’m nervous, too, because I’ve never had to cook meals for myself or do a ton of laundry or live on my own with people I don’t know, but I think it will be a good test for me to see if I would survive going to college far away from home or not. I’ve always wanted to try something new.”

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