Albion students see DC and experience government ‘close up’
Albion Central School
ALBION – Each year, high school students from around the country gather in Washington D.C. to share ideas, embrace geographic differences, make connections and ultimately gain a better understanding of how our government works.
This experience is hosted by the “Close Up” Foundation with a mission it is to inform, inspire, and empower young people to exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy. It brings together students from a wide variety of backgrounds and communities so they can share their outlooks and immerse themselves in national policy.
This year 10 students from Albion High School participated in this self-funded week-long educational experience. The trip included touring national monuments, meeting with representatives from the military, Secret Service and exploring many other opportunities.
Each of the students had different opinions of the highlights of the trip.
“This trip has taught me that even as someone who is not eligible to cast a vote, there are outlets for my voice to get heard,” said student Scott Daniels said. “A citizen in America holds immense power, we are the government, and once we become informed, we can be politically effective.”
Andrew Hollenbeck said: “The trip made it apparent that in the future, politics was going to be up to us. We are the future of this country and we better be prepared.”
Ben Miller attended one workshop which discussed the “Pledge of Allegiance.” “Being able to participate in the Close Up trip and this workshop in particular opened my eyes to the views of many people from around the U.S. and their ideas on how to improve our government.”
Alyce Miller found a unique experience that really impacted her. She said: “While on the trip to Washington, D.C., we were fortunate enough to speak with a man who had been homeless. This experience really opened our eyes to what the world is really like. He is now heading up a soup kitchen to help others who find themselves homeless. His hard work and perseverance demonstrated that you should never give up!”
Jacob Squicciarini summed up the trip by echoing a common theme amongst students. “Although it may seem that one person cannot possibly make a difference, if that one person works hard and spreads the work, others will join the cause and better times will come,” he said.