Never has there been a greater need for young people to connect and understand the key issues impacting their communities and lives. Since 2013, I accompanied my students from William H. Turner Technical Arts High School to Washington DC to attend the Close Up Foundation High School program. Since 1971, nearly one million students, teachers, and parents have participated in Close Up Foundation’s Washington, DC-based programs. The issue-centric, nonpartisan curriculum is designed to provide participants with a stronger understanding of government institutions, history and current issues, and their roles as citizens. Close Up Foundation aims to address that mission by engaging youth from various communities and backgrounds in a face-to-face experience that allows them to discover their voices and to actively take part in our democracy. Close Up’s Washington DC Program has had a lasting impact in the lives of the Turner Tech students who participated in the program. For example, after attending the Close Up program, one of our 2017 participants later became an aide at Congresswoman Frederica Wilson's office.
William Turner Tech High School first participated in Close Up’s program in 2007, and have taken a small cohort of students each year. By participating in Close Up’s program, my students learned to engage in civil discourse, use facts to support opinions, find their unique voice, and seek collaboration and compromise to tackle the issues that impact their lives and communities. We typically take groups of around 8-14 students, since so many of our students come from low-income families. Financial barriers should not exempt a student from participating in this life changing experience. Therefore, I am requesting funds from your organization to lessen the students’ financial burden to attend the program. The requested funds will offset the cost for students from our extremely under-served community to actively participate in the program.
Funded by Miami, FL (March 2022)