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Review for Close Up Foundation, Alexandria, VA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I am a teacher at Fair Park Preparatory Academy. Fair Park is an inner city middle school in Shreveport, Louisiana. The large majority of our students have never traveled outside of their neighborhoods, much less our city limits. We were fortunate to attend Close Up this year with the help of a couple of organizations and many generous community members. We raised 100% of the funds for eleven of our scholars to attend the Close Up program with the assistance of Volunteers for Youth Justice and Louisiana Association of Non-Profits Change Fund. Our students had the experience of a lifetime! It was amazing to watch my students lead their groups during a mock Congress and be filled with the confidence most of them were lacking. They were able to meet children from all over the country that they would have never had an opportunity to meet. It is hard for me to put into words the feeling of seeing my students having lessons and meaningful discussions about our history and our government at the many different monuments/museums they were able to visit. Wow! What an experience!
On our return, several of the students made the decision to attend a local high school that offers a law magnet program. The Close-Up program inspired them! I believe this experience has shown my students they are capable of great things. They just needed the exposure to this type of opportunity. It inspired me as an educator as well. Upon our return from our trip, I worked with Volunteers for Youth Justice as they sponsored a summer law symposium taught by local attorneys. Many of our students attended. As you can see, our involvement with the Close Up Foundation has had a ripple effect. The way to change our communities is to change the mind set of our youth and I believe the Close Up program helps do just that. It helped open their minds that they can make a difference. Our Close-Up representative guided us through the entire process. We look forward to bringing more students next year!

Role:  Advisor