Herricks senior Namit Kapoor has experience of lifetime as U.S. Senate page

Herricks senior Namit Kapoor has experience of lifetime as U.S. Senate page
(l to r) Herricks senior Namit Kapoor and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York)

It was a regular school day for Namit Kapoor, who walked out of English class when he got an acceptance email.

No, it was not for college, as Namit was a junior and is heading into his senior year at Herricks High School this fall. It was his acceptance to be a U.S. Senate page, the illustrious program that allowed Namit and 25 other students from across the country to see firsthand the inner workings of Congress, live in Washington, D.C.. and meet people he never could imagine. 

“It was actually very scary because the email read the same as previous decisions when I was denied for past semesters,” Kapoor said. “When I opened it up, it was an ‘Oh my gosh’ moment and I immediately told all my teachers who knew I was in the application process.”

From Jan. 30 to June 10, Kapoor helped prepare the chamber for daily business, distributing bills and amendments and assisting senators during speeches, votes and quorum, among other things. 

Kapoor was able to witness firsthand the confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court of the United States and the State of the Union address by President Joe Biden.

He was appointed by Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and underwent the same experiences as previous pages, such as former Vice President Spiro Agnew, writer Gore Vidal and Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, among others.

 “The fact that the Senate entrusts young people such as myself with the responsibility of carrying out different tasks related to the inner workings of the chamber was a really interesting opportunity,” Kapoor said. “It was very appealing to me as someone who’s interested in government and politics.”

Kapoor’s political interests grew from different organizations at Herricks and political internships along the way, including two with Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan (D-Woodbury) and being on the youth advisory board of state Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-North Hills) which he said furthered his interests in the program.

“All my experiences demonstrated that young people are able to bring about change and advocate for issues that affect us,” Kapoor said. 

Kapoor has previously shown the willingness and dedication to not only get accepted but thrive in a rigorous program that comes with being a page.

In 2020, Kapoor and three other friends founded a virtual summer camp, Herricks Camp Connected.

Some 131 of their peers signed up to be volunteer “counselors” at the camp and 142 younger children grades K-5 attended the virtual events in groups broken down by age.

Counselors and students met through Zoom each day from 11 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and broke the sessions down into sections, such as academics, athletics, games, music and art. 

In 2021 and this summer, Kapoor said he singlehandedly continued the program after the three others went to college while expanding it to in-person activities.

 “It was just a really incredible experience to be able to lead all those people as volunteers,” Kapoor said. “How far it’s grown shows the scope of the program and how I was able to bring such a profound change in my community just from an idea that I had stuck at home during the pandemic.”

In Washington, Kapoor lived in the Daniel Webster Senate Page Residence while attending early-morning classes at the United States Senate Page School, a program fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. 

Kapoor had four classes each day which would be between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. so the pages would have enough time to arrive at the Capitol ahead of the 10 a.m. start for the Senate. 

While at the Capitol, Kapoor witnessed a deeper side to senators not often seen outside the TV screen.

“What I took away from this is even though we might have political differences with one another, they were all like very congenial and had mutual respect for one another and I feel that that’s often lost sometimes with our current political climate,” Kapoor said. “It was just encouraging to see senators with varying beliefs interact with one another and debate one another on the floor because it shows that they are still willing to compromise with one another and to find common ground on issues to help our nation.”

With the semester “abroad” fully behind him, Kapoor is glad to be going into his senior year at Herricks with relationships cultivated during his time as a page. 

“It was very gratifying to have the opportunity to develop such strong relationships with my fellow pages that have definitely outlived the program,” Kapoor said. “That was honestly the best part of my experience, being able to explore D.C. with them, form those relationships and attend school with them every morning.”

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