The mission of Close Up is to inform, inspire and empower young people to exercise the rights and accept the responsibilities of citizens in a democracy. That’s according to the Close Up website at www. Closeup.org.
To carry out its mission, Close Up partners “with educators, schools, and youth organizations throughout the country to help young people develop the skills and attitudes to become informed and engaged citizens. Since 1971, over 850,000 participants have participated in Close Up programs.”
This year, students from the New York State School for the Deaf, 401 Turin St., are on a quest to spend four days in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., to participate in a Close Up educational experience.
The four-day event provides high school students with an opportunity to visit national monuments and museums, as well as the opportunity to meet with their national representatives, including Rep. Anthony J. Brindisi, D-22, Utica, and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., according to school officials.
Thanks to the help of the Lions Club of Rome and a $500 donation, the students are closer to their goal. In January, a group of NYSSD students gave a presentation to the Lions asking for potential consideration and support.
The students are also engaged in several other fundraisers to help support their potential trip.
This is a great way for students to learn more about our government and democracy. The Lions and school officials should be applauded for making this dream possible. As the website notes: “What happens here can change your world.”