District students participate in Close-Up, New American High School Program
Top row, from l to r: Jacqueline Placius, Maline Legros, Cristhofer Sanchez, Pedro Lopez, all from Glades Central High School; Leslie Roman, from G-Star Charter School.
Bottom row, from l to r: Rosario Sarabia, South Tech; Cristina Pendas, (chaperone with Federal and State Programs); Guadalupe Sarabia, South Tech; Jessica Gonzalez, Pahokee High School; Griselda Contreras, Boynton Beach High School and Jennifer Panigua, Pahokee High School (seated).
By Deborah Stewart
“An experience of a life time,” is how a small group of Palm Beach County migrant students described their recent trip to our nation’s capital. The 11 students participated in the Close-Up, New American High School Program spent six days with students from across the country in a fast-paced, interactive program visiting the famous sites of Washington and attending meetings with government officials.
The Close-Up thematic pro-
gram— which included leadership, interest groups, and government issues— opened a door to discussions about factors that are pressuring our nation. The experience taught the students that they have a voice and they can use it to make a difference in their community and their nation. Many students were shy at first, but developed a new level of confidence as the week progressed.
For some students this was a first for many experiences: the first time on a plane, first time away from family, first time speaking up and expressing their opinions, first time at a banquet, and of course—the first time in the nation’s capital.
Some highlights of the week were visiting the monuments which helped them understand U.S. history and the cost of freedom.
The visit to the Capitol was most memorable and the students met with the office of Representative Alcee Hastings and Senator Marco Rubio.
They discussed issues such as improving education with more hands- on activities and less emphasis on testing; and the Universal Healthcare policy.
For more details about the recent Close Up, New American Program trip taken by District students, contact Celia Elrod, assistant director of Federal and State Programs, (561) 434-8446 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.