Close Up believes that by teaching citizenship skills to youth and helping them understand their roles as citizens in our democracy, we help empower them to become agents of change and create solutions to issues that impact their communities. Ultimately, this helps strengthen our democracy. With support from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Close Up’s Model Citizen Mentoring Program (MCMP) addresses these issues through the integration of evidence-based strategies for creating positive youth development and reducing juvenile delinquency by pairing at-risk youth with a caring mentor in a structured environment where they acquire civic knowledge and become engaged with their community.

Through the MCMP, students will participate in three program components:

  • Experiential citizenship education through local programming and Close Up in Class resources
  • Community-based mentoring activities
  • Implementation of Community Action Projects

Students will also learn valuable skills and lessons that will assist them in the 21st century workforce and engage in positive civic learning and service activities. Research on mentoring has found that involvement in a mentoring relationship not only improves academic performance, but can also instill confidence in students about their schoolwork.

Interested in becoming a Mentor?

We are currently looking for mentors to work with students to in the following communities:

Chicago, IL; Washington, DC; Oklahoma City, OK; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; and New Orleans, LA.

Click here for more information on becoming a mentor

If you have any questions about the Close Up Model Citizen Mentoring Program, contact us at


"Your program was amazingly well-organized and everything was so well thought-out and implemented. I couldn't even describe in words the impact this trip had on our students on a personal level, on a level of looking differently at the world and it's opportunities."

   - Thomas, Teacher, NY
Educating for democracy since 1971