Sixteen-year-old Los Angeles resident Diona Okunbo was selected to work in the prestigious U.S. House of Representatives Congressional Page Program in Washington, D.C., and is among a small group of students selected from across the country, who began participating in the program in the fall.

In addition to obtaining sponsorship from U.S. Representative Maxine Waters, Okunbo had to complete a lengthy application which included several essay questions explaining why she wanted to participate in the page program and what her contribution would be.

Okunbo is currently halfway through her page stint, and said she has truly learned time management skills as well developed an interest in governmental issues. “As a Congressional Page you must learn to balance school work and working a demanding and responsible job,” added the Palisades High student.

The experience has been as rewarding as she had imagined, said Okunbo, who has met students from diverse backgrounds and cultures, and learned to survive away from home. This experience has also been a good stepping stone to college.

The U.S. House of Representatives Page Program has been in existence for 200 years. Eligible students must be at least 16 years old and sponsored by a member of Congress. The pages earn a salary and attend school daily in the Library of Congress.