Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) announced yesterday that the Close Up Foundation will be conducting a three-day Youth Summit for local high school students on Oct. 17-19 at the Saipan World Resort. Close Up is a Washington-based non-profit organization that educates and inspires young people to become informed and active citizens. Close Up programs help students develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to engage in our democracy.
Sablan will welcome participants on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 10:15am. He will discuss current issues, such as college affordability that particularly affect youth throughout the Northern Mariana Islands. Sablan will encourage the young people to become active in civic affairs.
“My first priority is to ensure that our students are provided with quality, affordable educational opportunities,” said Sablan. “Because these are the people who are going to be making decisions for us all very soon.
“The Close Up Youth Summit is itself an educational opportunity, helping our future leaders learn how to find solutions to the most critical issues affecting our Commonwealth.”
The second annual Close Up Youth Summit will bring together 60 high school students from Saipan, Rota, and Tinian. The students will work with Close Up educational specialists to identify public policy issues and develop an Agenda for Policy Action. Students will meet with policy experts, research source materials, and work with each other to develop consensus solutions. Highlights of the Youth Summit include a Policy Issues Panel Discussion, on Thursday, Oct. 18, and a reception on Friday afternoon, Oct. 19, where students will present their ideas to local officials.
Sablan is a leading congressional supporter of the funding for Close Up civic education programs through appropriations to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs. Each year Close Up brings students and teachers from the Northern Marianas to Washington for a first-hand look at our government in action.
“Close Up programs inspire civic engagement and point young people towards the path of public service,” said Sablan. “I am very pleased that we are able to bring these programs directly to our islands, so that even more students can participate.
“I look forward to the debates and to hearing the policy proposals the students produce at the end of Youth Summit.”
The Close Up Insular Areas Program is designed to demonstrate how the U.S. model of democracy functions and to foster the interest, knowledge, and skills needed to effectively participate in a democracy. Close Up addresses the academic needs of the insular areas and provides training and materials to improve teachers' civic education skills. Close Up also increases mutual understanding between the United States' diverse citizenry with a special emphasis on public policy concerns and culture. (PR)