Close Up’s mission is to inform, inspire, and empower young people to exercise the rights and accept the responsibilities of citizens in a democracy. As a non-profit/non-partisan leader in civic education since 1971, we believe that a strong democracy requires active and informed participation by all citizens; therefore, we seek to reach participants of every race, creed, geographical community, socio-economic level, and academic standing. We reach about 25,000 participants annually through our in-person, placed-based programming, teacher professional development, virtual programs, and classroom curriculum.
-Democracy requires members who are able to reflect on their own values and interests as well as the values and interests of others, communicate their ideas and visions, and take active steps to advance their political goals.
-Young people must learn and practice the dispositions and skills needed to become lifelong active and engaged participants in democracy.
-Engaging young people in public policy discussion and deliberation of current controversial issues will give them the skills and desire for lifelong participation in the democratic process.
-By remaining nonpartisan and exposing young people to a variety of perspectives, we encourage them to consider a range of ideas and form their own opinions.
-Encountering and engaging with those who may have different backgrounds provides young people with a more nuanced understanding of how policy decisions will affect all within a community.