Since 1971, Close Up has provided challenging, hands-on civic education programs in Washington, DC. Each year we serve over 15,000 students and teachers in more than 1,200 schools and youth organizations nationwide. Close Up is the only civic education program that serves every segment of society, actively seeking to provide opportunities for all high school and middle school students regardless of their socio-economic level or prior academic success. Over the past forty years, more than 850,000 students and teachers from across the country have participated in Close Up programs. Here's what some of our customers have to say about their Close Up experience:


Our programs are transformative educational experiences for young people, their teachers and mentors. In post-program surveys of our participants:

  • 96% of teachers say that the program helps their students better understand current issues and their roles as citizens in a democracy;
  • 99% of participating teachers say they would recommend the Close Up program to their colleagues;
  • 94% of students say that Close Up helped them better understand current political issues;
  • 97% of participants say that Close Up helped them understand that other citizens may hold differing opinions about those issues; and
  • 4 out of 5 participating students report that after their Close Up program they are more likely to pay attention to the news; to communicate their ideas to others more effectively; and that they feel more knowledgeable about how to promote their political interests and beliefs to others.

Student Testimonials

  • “Experiences have the potential to inspire you, motivate you, and provoke you to become something more then you previously were. Close Up is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that impacts the way you look at yourself, your community and the world.” - Lauren, Student, NY
  • “Close Up is an experience I recommend to everyone!!!” - Camilo, Student, FL
  • “Every kid should get the chance to participate in Close Up, and I wish they could.” – Adam, Student, MT
  • “Close Up was the best week of my life so far. Not only did I get to meet new people but I got to bond with my classmates during the program.” - Jennifer, Student, RI
  • “As a group, we are very proud of all the hard work and learning we accomplished this week. We will never forget the amazing experiences we had this week in Washington, DC” – Carrie, Student, VT

Teacher Testimonials

  • “The best part of the program is being able to see what I teach them come alive!” - Sara, Teacher, TX
  • “The Close Up Foundation provided an in-depth and unique experience for teachers and students. It is a wonderful experience in democracy.” - Lori, Teacher, CA
  • “As a teacher it is my job to recruit the kids, but Close Up takes care of the rest. Close Up is the blueprint for the way education should work from the way they deal with students to the way they treat teachers. It is second to none.” – Jon, Teacher, GA
  • “Every single experience on program becomes a teaching and learning moment.” – Jose, Teacher, FL
  • “I speak from experience, as I have seen the tremendous impact that this program has had in educating students from all parts of the world and from all walks of life…we get so much in terms of return for so little investment. This is the best program I have experienced bar none.” - Edgar, Teacher, FL
  • “Close Up has really managed to incorporate the real world experience with the historical content for our students.” – Myrna, Administrator, TX

"I will continue to promote this program in both our school and community. Travelling is the best educator!"

   – Cari, Teacher, MT
Educating for democracy since 1971