Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz has announced that he is seeking nominations from high school junior students to participate in the Congressional Page Program.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited Congressman Ortiz to nominate a young South Texan to participate in this rare and prestigious opportunity to work in the U.S. Congress and live in Washington, D.C. for a summer semester.

The summer semester begins with check in on Sunday, June 7, 2009, and ends on June 27, 2009.

Ortiz last nominated a Page for the fall of 2007; Amanda Tavares, of Robstown.

Applications for this opportunity are available on Ortiz's Web site.

To qualify, candidates must be:

16 years old on or before June 2, 2009 (students must provide a birth certificate), A junior in high school (either just completed their sophomore or junior year) with at least a 3.0 GPA (students must provide a transcript), In good physical health, A U.S. citizen AND a resident of U.S. District 27, Their parents or guardian must support their candidacy to be a Congressional Page, and They must provide an application package by April 10, 2009.

Ortiz will then forward applications with all the necessary components to a panel of 6-8 judges, equally balanced in representing the Coastal Bend and the Valley, who will score the applications, interview the top candidates and then choose a winner for Ortiz to nominate.

Ortiz contacted South Texas superintendents and principals to let them know about the opportunity and encourage them to vigorously recruit talented young students to apply for the Congressional Page Program.

In a letter to those educators, Ortiz wrote:

"Pages for the House of Representatives have the ultimate chance of a lifetime for a firsthand look inside the Halls of Congress and the House Chamber, where debates are held, votes are called, and laws are made in the United States.

"Washington is an exciting place and every page who leaves the program here tells us the experience profoundly changed their life."