Local Teen Spends Summer Vacation As U.S. Senate Page In D.C.

By Andria Barrios

Elizabeth Bradford, senior at Strawberry Crest High School, is unlike many her age. Instead of spending the summer at the beach, she spends her summers paging for the Senate. Rather than partying after school, she runs a Teenage Republican Club. Instead of running for Homecoming queen, Bradford ran for Vice Chairman of the Florida Teenage Republicans, and won.

During her freshman year, this young student first heard about the U.S. Senate Page Program, and became interested immediately. But Bradford knew she would have to earn the position, so she began locally and served as a page for the Florida Senate during both her sophomore and junior years.

Bradford also started the first Teenage Republican club in Hillsborough County through her high school. She was inspired through listening to Attorney General Pam Bondi’s speech in the 2008 election. “She talked about how women can accomplish anything, so I took the plunge.” This club started at 15 members and has doubled since then.

Her interest in politics continued to grow. During the summer of 2012, she served as an intern for the Romney Campaign at the Brandon Victory Office. She recruited volunteers, ran events, door knocked and made phone calls to benefit the case.

But she still wanted to accomplish her goal of paging for the U.S. Senate. She soon applied, and was accepted only weeks later. Bradford was to page for the second summer session of the U.S. Senate, which lasted nearly the entire month of July. “I was excited to be chosen and nervous too. I would not have internet access and my cell phone would be collected.” Unlike many others her age, Bradford would be unable to text her friends, update her social networks, or browse the internet for nearly a month. But it was worth the sacrifice. “It was an unforgettable experience and one of the best decisions I ever made,” Bradford said of her experience afterward. She was able to see both President Obama and Vice President Biden, as well as witness many important bills that were passed.

There’s no telling where she may go in the future. “For college, I hope to either attend FSU or a college in the DC area and study political science or government with a pre-law concentration.” Once she is established as a lawyer, she hopes to run for a political office locally, and then eventually nationally.

This young teen is an inspiration to many her age. Remember her name; Miss Elizabeth Bradford may become very well-known some day.