Paging Shaina Watkins

DeWayne Bartels

As the auction at the Woodford County Lincoln Reagan Dinner began to wind down Feb. 10 there was an item that Shaina Watkins wanted.

It was the opportunity to be a page for a day with State Sen. Darin LaHood, R-Dunlap.

Watkins, 19, is a sophomore at Eureka College with a major in communications and a minor in art.

“I attended the Lincoln Reagan Dinner to help escort the individuals attending to their seats, and also because I did want to pursue the Page for a Day,” Watkins said.

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“The opportunities that can come from an opportunity like being a Page for the Day are quite amazing. When writing a resume later in my college career this will add something very positive to it. Also, to be able to learn more about candidates so that my vote can be put to good use is not something that everyone gets the opportunity to do firsthand.”

Watkins said she does not know LaHood. She said she imagined her day would be filled with doing tasks that would make his day more productive.

LaHood said she was wrong there. He said Watkins will not function as a messenger.

“She will be with me as I meet with constituents and on the senate floor with me. I will also be introducing her on the senate floor,” LaHood said.

“I’m going to expose her to the political process.”

LaHood said he was told there were three or four young people interested. But, Watkins won out with her plea.

“When I spoke at the Lincoln Reagan Dinner I mostly spoke about what an opportunity it would be and how I would like to be given the chance to do so,” Watkins said. “So, that again, I could put my vote to good use and then use my opportunity to inform my peers about my experience.”

Watkins said she does not yet have a date for her opportunity.

“As of now, a career in politics is not something that I have considered, however, a career in public relations and event planning is something that appeals to me,” Watkins said.

“These two careers can work with one another so this opportunity will  give me an educated opportunity to experience a potential career.”

LaHood said he was very pleased this opportunity appealed to young people.

“In Woodford County, especially at Eureka College, there are a lot of young people interested in government,” he said. “I’m happy to provide this opportunity.”