Creating Youth Advocates


Now more than ever, young people want to play a pivotal role in developing solutions and addressing inequities in the United States. During the 2021-22 school year, Close Up and the National Network of Schools in Partnership will bring together high school students from across the country to build the tools and knowledge to meaningfully engage with systemic issues and become catalysts for effective change in their communities. Over the course of the program, students will deliberate about pressing national issues; explore the political and structural barriers to equity in our country; deepen understanding of existing campaigns for change; and work together to create meaningful solutions. 


About Close Up
About National Network of Schools in Partnership

Series 2: Race, Justice, and Equity 


How can you create positive, systemic change in your school or local community? 

Through this series of six online sessions facilitated by Close Up instructors, students will engage in inquiry and deliberation on an issue of their choice in order to understand the political and structural barriers to equity in our systems of education, health, and justiceStudents will investigate root causes, identify various approaches taken at the local, state, and national levels, engage with a policy advocate, and create a vision statement that incorporates their personal experiences and tangible action steps they can take within their school or local community.  

Dates & Pricing 

Tuesdays & Thursdays after school | January 25- February 10, 2022 | 8:00-9:15pm (EST) / 5:00-6:15pm (PST) 

  • Cohort of 6 Students: $1200 (Close Up & NNSP Member Price)
  • Individual Student: $250

This program session is exclusively for students in grades 9-12. You may nominate six students to represent your school in an examination of today’s most pressing issues with students from across the country. 

Close Up and NNSP are deeply committed to equity and inclusion. If you require financial assistance, please contact Close Up at


Space is limited. Please register by December 15, 2021 to confirm your participation. 

If you have any questions, or if your school/group is interested in customizing dates for an entire grade or course, please contact us at

Participation in a Close Up program requires parent or guardian approval for any participants under 18 years of age. 


Institute for Deliberative Democracy


What if, instead of looking to others for leadership, young people stepped up to communicate and compromise across differences in an effort to address societal challenges?

Join us this summer in Washington, DC at the Institute for Deliberative Democracy! Deepen your understanding of the characteristics and causes of pressing national issues, participate in a program-wide deliberation led by Stanford’s Center for Deliberative Democracy, work in small groups to create meaningful solutions, develop a cohesive Youth Agenda for Action, and meet with public officials to advocate for your proposals.



Past Programs


Series 1: Deliberating Systemic Issues

How can you engage on controversial issues that matter to you and build empathy for diverse ideas and perspectives? 

Through this series of six online sessions facilitated by Close Up instructors, students will develop a deeper understanding of complex policy challenges facing the nation, connect those issues to longstanding values and tensions, and gain a rich understanding of the value of deliberation in a democracy. Students will examine three major policy issues, evaluate proposals that represent a range of viewpoints, and consider, as a group, how to best address these issues. After developing a better understanding of their own values and priorities, students will participate in a training to develop the facilitation skills to lead controversial issue discussions in their own school communities. 





Build Civic Leadership Skills

IMPACT programs allow students to build a community with their peers nationwide, examine current policy challenges, and learn how to become leaders and ambassadors for civic action in their own communities. Learn More >

Classroom Exchanges

Connect Classrooms to Discuss Current Issues

Classroom Exchanges gives students the opportunity to interact with their peers nationwide and discuss current issues. Learn More >

Empowering Girls' Voices

Creating the Next Generation
of Change-Makers

For NCGS Network schools, Empowering Girls’ Voices will bring together students from around the world to build the skills needed to inspire others and become catalysts for change. Learn More >

Empower Youth Voices

Confront Challenges Facing Our Democracy

For Malone Schools, Empower Youth Voices inspires students to share their political values, deliberate critical policy issues, and build a virtual community. Learn More >

Stanford and Close Up Opportunities

Learning Deliberative Democracy

Stanford and Close Up programs encourage students to engage in meaningful discussions and address real-world issues through deliberative polling. Learn More >

Custom Virtual Programs

Looking for meaningful ways to engage your students virtually, build community, or reimagine service-learning opportunities? Learn More >

Over 93% of students said Close Up’s virtual programs…

helped them understand the importance of using their voice to make change in their communities.