Eight Houston ISD migrant students participated in an annual trip to Washington, D.C. as part of the Close Up program to learn about their rights and responsibilities of living in a democracy. Close Up’s High School Programs are designed to give students and educators an inside look at their democracy in action. Using the nation’s capital as a living classroom, participants get a “close up” view of government – interacting with the people, processes, and places that make this federal city so unique.
The students enjoyed visiting The Smithsonian, the National Museum of Natural History, and the Jewish Community Center; they dressed up for the trip to Capitol Hill, met with United States Representative Ted Poe, and joined in discussion after watching a debate between Mark Levine and Terry Campo. The students returned energized, confident and empowered to participate and exercise their voice. Many are eyeing a career in politics!
Lizeth Rivas Mendez, Reagan HS
Estephani Valdivia, Chavez HS
Anayanci Reyna, High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice
Luis Vasquez, Bellaire HS
Ricardo Garcia, Reagan HS
Arturo Vega, Yes Prep East End
Evelyn Reyna, Jordan HS
Nayeli Ascencion, Davis HS
A special thank you to Rosa Gonzalez-Decou and Diana Martinez from our Multilingual Programs Department who served as chaperons for the trip. On a special note, we would like to highlight that the trip was especially memorable for Ms. Martinez as she was part of the Close Up program when she was in high school almost 32 years ago. “It reminded me why I had gone in the first place and everything I had learned,” she explained.