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YUHSD sends 36 students to Close Up event in Washington, DC

Close up Washington DCThirty-six Yuma Union High School District students attended the Close Up Summer Leadership Program in Washington, DC this summer.

The students were selected from the district’s migrant education program via an application process and included sophomores and juniors from YUHSD’s five comprehensive campuses. The experience offered the opportunity to discuss issues with state and national leaders, learn about the political process, visit historical monuments and sites, and much more.  

“Our students did an amazing job of representing our district at the Close Up Program,” YUHSD Migrant Education Program Coordinator Maria Cruz said. “They gave Washington a glimpse of the amazing leaders they will be someday.”

Some of the leadership activities included taking part in mock trials and mock congress. The students also met with Arizona Senator Mark Kelly’s office during the weeklong stay. 

“The Close Up program was great because everyone, ranging from the staff to instructors to program leaders, made the experience engaging and thought provoking,” Cibola High School student Ernesto Bermudez said. “It inspires you to be more involved in your community and learn to become a better American citizen.” 

Bermudez was one of five YUHSD students who shared details of their experiences with the district’s governing board at the August 2022 monthly meeting. 

Gila Ridge student Luis Jauregui told the Board: “Even though it’s been two months since we went on that trip, I’ve still kept in contact with a lot of the people I met.”

According to Close Up’s website, “With the help of our Program Instructors, students learn more about history and government while considering a variety of viewpoints. Close Up’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunities are designed to inspire and empower students to become active participants in our democracy.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this is the first time YUHSD students have taken part in the program since 2019. 

Eric Patten