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The 411: Youth

President or governor ... one day?

President or governor ... one day?
Jennifer Alonzo (left), her son, Isaiah, and her mother, Linda Haese, visit with Texas Gov. Rick Perry May 3, during Isaiah’s morning as a Senate page.

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Wilson County News
May 24, 2011
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It’s an unusual ambition for a fifth-grader, but one day, Isaiah Alonzo, 12, hopes to serve his fellow Americans as president of the United States or governor of the Lone Star State.

The La Vernia Intermediate School student is off to a good start, too. The son of Jennifer and Rudy Alonzo Sr. spent the morning of May 3 working as a Senate page at the state Capitol, running errands and delivering messages for Texas senators. While there, Isaiah met Gov. Rick Perry, who took time from his schedule to visit with Isaiah and his mother, Jennifer Alonzo.

Isaiah, a student in Sonia Rodriguez’s class, has always been interested in history and politics, his mother said.

“He has a library of history books,” Jennifer said. “He likes President Kennedy and President Clinton, and he’s totally into Martin Luther King Jr. and what he did.”

Isaiah likes to watch the news and keep up with current events, his mother said.

His other interests include helping people, and being a “youth pastor” at The Promised Land Church in San Antonio, where “... he loves to meet and talk with people,” his mother said. “He’s a real people person.”

He hopes to join the junior high school band “to play sax, like Bill Clinton,” his mother said.

Isaiah’s opportunity to go to Austin came through his mother’s job. Her boss is married to State Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, who represents District 26. Jennifer also worked with the senator in the 1990s. When Isaiah expressed an interest in public office, Jennifer asked Van De Putte if he could experience the legislative process, and the day as a Senate page was arranged.

Isaiah was able to sit on the Senate floor and watch the elected officials at work, his mother said. He met some senators and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and had almost finished his time at the Capitol when the opportunity to meet the governor occurred.

“We were told we could see the governor’s public reception room, where he holds press conferences,” Jennifer said. “When we went in, some staff members were wrapping

up a meeting. They asked Gov. Perry to sign a certificate for Isaiah. He signed it and asked us to wait so he could meet us!”

The governor was “very personable and humble,” she said. He spoke with Isaiah, and told him, “You could take my job one day.”

When Gov. Perry asked Isaiah if he had any questions, Jennifer said her son, an honor roll student, asked only one: “Why do we have to take the TAKS test?”

“We have to test because we want our children to be the best,” the governor responded.

Maybe Isaiah will face a similar question someday.

Isaiah has an older brother, Rudy Jr.

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