Patel is a legislative page in the Maryland House of Delegates in Annapolis. The 17-year-old student at Brunswick High School in Frederick County made it through the highly competitive selection process and now has a unique inside perspective of Maryland politics. Pages are among the rare few nonlegislators allowed on the floor of the House or Senate. Wearing distinctive silver blazers, they deliver messages between lawmakers and staff, fetch copies of bills and run errands for legislators. Patel had previously interned for her local delegate.
Why did you decide to get involved in the page program?
I'm actually really into politics, I always have been. So I just figured since I interned during session, this would be another aspect of it, and I wanted to do both. I do student council on the county and state level, and I do mock trial as well.
What do you think so far?
I love it. I think it's really cool just to see everything that's going on and see it from a different view. It's really different from interning in a delegate's office because you get to work for everyone and see the way they interact with each other.
What do you think of the way Maryland politics work from this insider perspective?
I think it's really cool. When I was younger, I thought politics was a lot more exclusive and elitist, but it's actually really cool how nice and friendly everyone is. When we walk through the halls with our blazers, they all stop and introduce themselves and talk about what they're working on.
So has the experience inspired you to a career in politics?
Oh definitely. I want to double-major next year in prelaw and political science with a minor in international relations. I've applied to 14 colleges so far. I think I'd like to practice law for a few years then get into politics.