Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

June 11, 2019

Upward Bound Student Serves as Page in Washington State Senate

Upward Bound student Howsai Sahak with Sen. Mona Das

Courtesy Washington State Senate

For five days in April, Upward Bound student Howsai Sahak experienced life as a state senator.

Sahak, a sophomore at Kent-Meridian High School, served as a page in the Washington State Senate through a program that provides students with hands-on opportunities to find out how state government works. She was sponsored to participate by Sen. Mona Das (D-Kent), the senator from her legislative district.

“It was wonderful to host Howsai at the Capitol this week,” Das said in a press release at the time. “I hope that this was a rich learning experience for her.”

The week’s activities included listening to guest speakers and attending classes on topics such as budget writing and how a bill becomes a law. Sahak also worked with other pages to create their own bills in a mock committee setting and had access to all parts of the Capitol Campus, including the Senate floor.

“I had a great time working on my bill and seeing how the bill making process works,” Sahak said. “I enjoyed meeting new people and having the chance to work with them on the bill.”

Sahak has participated in OMA&D’s Upward Bound program since May of 2018. Upward Bound is a federally-funded TRIO program that provides college access support to first-generation and economically disadvantaged high school students. OMA&D’s program serves students at Kent-Meridian High School, as well as Seattle’s Franklin, Chief Sealth International and Cleveland High Schools.

Through Upward Bound, students receive academic advising, tutoring and college assistance planning throughout the academic year. The program also hosts a six-week Summer Academy at the University of Washington for students to get first-hand experience taking classes on a college campus. This year’s Upward Bound Summer Academy begins July 1.

Sahak and two of her siblings have participated in OMA&D’s program.

“We encourage Upward Bound students to be involved in their schools and community,” said Roseann London, Upward Bound director. “Enrichment activities help students find their passions and build a competitive college application. We are very proud of Howsai and thrilled that she had this opportunity.”