Federal Government Supports Island-Wide Youth Initiative

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Washington, D.C. – Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Areas, Tony Babauta, today signed a $262,500 grant to the Close Up Foundation. Funding supports existing efforts to bolster the nation’s largest non-profit civic education programs that extend opportunities to students in the U.S. insular areas and the Freely Associated States (FAS).

Participating students and teachers will travel to the nation’s capital and spend a week meeting with federal officials, engaging in public policy workshops, current issues debates and visit various historical sites.


“The programs furnished by Close Up afford our students in the insular areas and the FAS the unique opportunity to travel the long distance to Washington, develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of government and the role that each individual plays in our democratic system,” said Assistant Secretary Babauta.

“The experience is indispensible and one that will last students a lifetime. I am glad our office can continue to lend its support to this important youth initiative,” added Babauta.

The Close Up Foundation has been administering civic education programs in the Pacific Islands through funding provided by the Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs for over twenty years. In addition to the Insular Areas Washington Program, Close Up conducts local civic education programs as well as student workshops at island-based education conferences.

Submitted by the Office of the Interior