Close Up Program awarded 24 Fellowships from DOI

American Samoan Department of Education has been awarded a total of 24 fully paid Fellowships for 21 students, 2 teachers and 1 CU Supervisor for this year’s National Close Up Program, made possible through a grant from the Department of Interior. 

“Close Up was formed in 1971, a non-profit that exists to educate and inspire young people to participate in our democracy.  The program provides hands-on activities for students and teachers by using Washington D.C. as a living classroom, where students have access to the people, processes and places that make the nation’s capital unique.”

Participants will have the opportunity to visit D.C.’s famous monuments and memorials, Capitol Hill to meet their congressman & staff, walk the halls of the world-renowned Smithsonian Museum, debate hot topics during a mock congress activity, discuss current issues that face their community and country, make new friends from around the nation, plus engage in an array of dynamic educational activities.

Close Up not only allows participants to see the government, but to be part of the government! 

Other program highlights include workshops in Philadelphia, concluding in New York City, with participants visiting the Statue of Liberty, United Nations and not to mention Broadway! 

Fellowships were awarded to students who applied and met the criteria set forth by their respective schools.  Lucky participants come from all six government and two private high schools with the number of fellowships dependent on school enrollment.

In preparation for the program, 4-hour sessions are scheduled on Saturdays, beginning on March 24, from 8a-12n and ending June 2, before departure week. These sessions help prepare students to interact, dialogue, debate and present with peers from the Pacific and 50 states.

The following students and teachers make up this year’s contingency to represent American Samoa at the National Close Up Program.  Program dates are June 8-21, with the group departing on June 7 and returning June 22.


1. Alice Florentine Tauiliili, Leone

2. Allison Fitisone, Tafuna

3. BernadineOtt, Manumalo Baptist

4. Brenda M.Tac-An, Tafuna

5. James C.M.Cayanan, Tafuna

6. Kirstan Leauma Foster Lin, Pacific Horizons

7. LelaleleiolemotuosalaiaPuaina, Leone

8. Marcella Fitisone, Tafuna

9. Matavaitofaga Geraldine Moi, Leone
10. Mellody Ah-LamParungo, Fagaítua

11. Patrick Dan Wang, Fagaítua

12. Ronnie Mase, Samoana
13. Shardonae Nua, Tafuna

14. Suluama Faaiuaso, Samoana

15. TafatafaSataua, Samoana

16. Talalelei Mata, Manu’a
17. ValeliaSefo, Nu’uuli Vo-Tech

18. Eleni Dorothy, Fagaítua

19. Keniseli MoteTupuola, Tafuna

20. Mariana Pato, Samoana

21. SeiaemoeimaugaosalafaiScanlon, Leone


22. BrendaAisoli, Samoana

23. John Maiava, Tafuna

24. Dorian Salaveá (supervisor), Leone

Source: media release


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