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U.S. Department of Interior awards $1.05 Mil in FY2012 funding to local Close Up

Washington, D.C. — The Close Up Program has been awarded an FY2012 grant in the amount of $1.05 million from the U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Insular Affairs Technical Assistance Fund, Cong. Faleomavaega Eni's office announced this week. The funding was authorized by Congress as part of DOI’s budget in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 (P.L. 12-74).

For over twenty years, Close Up has provided civic education programming to young people across the nation with the purpose of inspiring the next generation to become active in our nation’s democracy.

Each year, Close Up gives students from American Samoa the opportunity to experience the Federal government first-hand, visit historical sites, engage in dialogue with their peers, and voice their opinion with federal representatives in Washington, D.C.

This past fall, Close Up also hosted an on-island Youth Summit in American Samoa, which was the first of its kind. The Summit brought together approximately 60 students, along with local educators and government officials.

“I thank Secretary Salazar, Assistant Secretary Anthony Babauta and OIA Director Nikolao Pula for their leadership in ensuring that young people in the U.S. Territories continue to benefit from the Close Up Program,” Faleomavaega stated.

“I also extend my gratitude to the Close Up staff for their tireless efforts to serve our young people, as well as the dedication of our local teachers and educators who have contributed to the Close Up Program.”

“Each year, I am pleased to host the Close Up groups visiting from American Samoa in my Washington, D.C. office and I thank all of the students who have visited my office to dialogue about civic affairs and share their interest in policy issues that affect American Samoa and the entire nation. I count it a privilege to be able to host our young people and future leaders and I thank Close Up for providing this opportunity. I am also thankful for Close Up’s expansion to on-island programming. I have every confidence that the Youth Summit program on-island will not only bring greater access to civic education for our young people, but also enable them to interact with local government officials to discuss policy issues that directly affect the Territory.”

“Once again I thank the U.S. Department of Interior and the Office of Insular Affairs and the Close Up Foundation for providing these unique educational experiences for our young people. I have every hope that the Close Up Program will continue to inspire and prepare the younger generation of civic leaders in American Samoa,” Faleomavaega concluded.