Return to Headlines

BGHS junior heads to the floor of the U.S. Senate

Published February 1, 2024

One Buffalo Grove High School junior will be spending the rest of the school year on Capitol Hill. Yes, that one—in Washington, D.C.

Alina Hussain got interested in government and policymaking during three years on the BGHS Model U.N. team and after an internship last summer at a law firm. Surfing the internet for ideas about what to do with her upcoming summer, and thinking about something related to political science, she came across the U.S. Senate Page Program—and decided to apply.

“I came across the Page Program and thought—I really want to try to do this,” Alina said.

The Page Program has been part of the U.S. Senate since the early 19th century, when the Senate hired young boys to help as messengers and helpers. Currently, the Senate chooses 30 high school students—15 male and 15 female—to serve as pages each session. Pages work on the Senate floor alongside senators and their staff; pages deliver correspondence, prepare the Senate Chamber for sessions, and assist senators and staff during debates.

Pages live together in a residence near Capitol Hill. They attend classes beginning at 6 a.m., then report to work at 10 a.m. or an hour before the Senate is set to convene, whichever is earlier. 

Pages “bring an energy and excitement and enthusiasm to this place,” New Jersey Senator Cory Booker said on January 25 when the Senate said thanks and goodbye to the fall 2023 group of pages.

Because there are only 30 pages for the nation’s 100 senators, not every senator is able to sponsor and appoint a page. Luckily for Alina, Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth appoint pages. She applied on Sen. Durbin’s website and was “elated” when she was selected.

“Having participated in Model U.N. since my freshman year at Buffalo Grove High School, the art of debate, drafting policy, and diplomacy inspired me to take the leap and apply to work as a United States Senate Page,” Alina said. “Being a teenager at a time where politics, and often the turmoil that comes with it, act as a lens on our daily lives, I cannot wait to serve our nation’s most prominent leaders and witness first-hand political debate in the United States Senate.”

Not only will she be taking classes at Page School—math, science, social studies and English—but her BGHS counselor helped her arrange to take her four AP tests in Washington also.

Alina promises to report back on her experience. Stay tuned—or, as Sen. Booker mentioned, see if you can catch a glimpse of her on C-SPAN!