Jack Sanders skips off to Washington D.C.

Some of you may have noticed junior Jack Sanders missing in the halls this semester. Despite previous assumptions that he’s out playing Ultimate Frisbee in the snow, he’s actually in Washington D.C., working as a page for the US House of Representatives. Sanders had participated in a large part of a recent campaign for his father, who was elected county supervisor. If anyone had Sanders in AP US History, they know of his interest in politics. So it’s not a surprise that he’s one of the few high schoolers in the nation chosen to go to Washington. “You have to apply to your congressman or woman. It was easy for me because I worked for [Tom Latham]. He gave my application to the National Clerk’s office and they accepted it,” Sanders said. “My mom heard about it and told me and it sounded pretty awesome.” Being a page doesn’t exempt Sanders from school, but it does have its perks. “They try to make [school] as similar as possible. I usually go to school about four hours a day, five hours on a long day and two hours on a short day. It depends on what Congress is doing.” But just because he isn’t in school as long doesn’t mean he’s not working. Being a page is just like having a job and it definitely keeps him busy. “Right now I run messages from the House floor to Congresspeople’s offices and then run their messages back to the floor,” Sanders said. “I enjoy work.” Washington D.C. is obviously a big change from Ames. “Last weekend my roommates and I went out to lunch. It took us four hours to get there and back, but there’s a lot of good food and places to go. When it gets warmer out we’ll probably go explore a lot more.” Like any “new kid,” Sanders had his share of first day experiences. “On my first day I got lost twice in the Capitol building and no one stopped me because I was a page,” he said. “But you make a lot of cool friends and relationships. I’ve gotten to meet a lot of the people in Congress.” Being able to see our government at work firsthand has given Sanders an opportunity to think about going into politics as a career. “I’ll consider [a job in government]. I’ll know more about that after I’ve been here longer if I want to go back and work.” Whether Sanders becomes the next President of the United States or not, it’s been a valuable experience.“There’s a lot of unique opportunities,” Sanders said. “There was a fire drill and the police focused on getting us out before the Congresspeople because we were higher priority. It was a very humbling experience.” Even though we’ll miss Jack Sanders at Ames High this semester, his friends still keep in touch. “I’m not allowed to use Facebook,” Sanders said. But he still calls, texts and e-mails his family and friends. “I think they miss me but they’re happy for me.” We’ll have to survive without his Ultimate skills for now, but Washington D.C. needs him. In the midst of political turmoil, Jack Sanders will continue to stand as the protector of Ultimate discs and hope.