Getting Close Up with Our State’s Government


Hills' Students Participate in Close Up Program.

Kateryna Miroshnichenko, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, April 9th, 2019, ten students from Hollywood Hills High School, accompanied by Ms. Miranda, loaded “Academy” Bus #3 at 4 a.m  and their “Rally to Tally” journey with CLOSE UP* Foundation started. That first day they had a long trip to Tallahassee. Besides that, they made a stop at UCF, Orlando for an Admission Seminar, Campus Tour, and lunch at the Dining Hall.  In Tallahassee, around 6 p.m  they had a dinner, orientation, and an opening workshop. Their day ended at 10 p.m.

On Wednesday, April 10th, 2019, boys and girls had a wake up call in their rooms at  7 a.m. They had breakfast and departed for work! Students were split up by committees: Health committee, Urban Policy and Public Services committee, Youth Issues committee, Energy and environment committee, Crime and Public Safety committee, and Education committee. Their purpose was to split up into even smaller groups sub-committees, discuss issues the state of Florida faces and write proposals how these issues may be solved.

The focus and outcome of this trip is that students’ learn to use their voices, and that those voices will be heard. Government officials from real committees came to hear students’ proposals and give them feedback. Some students were worried, others were proud, but it was a great educational experience for all 200+ students from Broward County.

This reporter is very happy that she went.  While the opportunity was free, it did take a lot of time and effort. Students had a lot of opportunities to have fun, build relationships, and work on their proposals. Everything had an educational purpose : The visit to Florida Capitol, University visits, workshops and presentation.  The only event that was not educational was the Thursday evening when students were transported to a “Fun Station, Tallahassee” for a few hours. The trip was a little overwhelming and the schedule was broken down by hours, but it was worth it! This experience and wonderful staff from CLOSE UP are not the ones to easy forget.  Students who are interested in learning more about the CLOSE UP program and participating in a future trip should see Ms. Ramos.

CLOSE UP* is a nonprofit organization that educates and inspires young people to become informed and engaged citizens.