Congressman Faleomavaega today announced that on October 10th he will offer opening remarks before the second annual Close Up Youth Summit held in American Samoa. Close Up representatives, Liz Spurgeon and Sara Walkup, are in American Samoa this week to conduct the three-day Youth Summit for local high school students. The civic education program will take place from Wednesday, October 10th to Friday, October 12th at the Lee Auditorium in Utulei.
According to Close Up Foundation, a group of 80 students will participate in this year’s program representing the high schools of Faga’itua, Samoana, Nu’uuli Voc-Tech, Tafuna, Leone, Manu’a, Pacific Horizons, South Pacific Academy, Fa’asao-Marist, Manumalo Baptist, Iakina Adventist Academy and Kanana Fou. With the help of local educators, Close Up will guide students through a rigorous curriculum identifying important public policy issues. The students will also implement research and writing skills by developing an “Agenda for Policy Action”.
The Close Up Foundation is a non-profit non-partisan organization committed to inspiring and educating young people to become active citizens in our democracy. Since 1988, Congress has been providing funding to Close Up through the U.S. Department of Interior (US-DOI) specifically to support participation by students and teachers from the Insular Areas, including American Samoa. Each year, students travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in Close Up’s educational programs along with participants from other States and Territories. Last year, Close Up launched the local Youth Summit as part of an expanded effort to bring civic education programs to American Samoa.
“Each year, I look forward with great joy to hosting our Close Up students from American Samoa in my Washington, D.C. office. I am pleased and honored to also take part in this year’s Close Up Youth Summit in American Samoa and I thank Close Up for inviting me to offer opening remarks and share in this significant educational experience for our young people,” Congressman Faleomavaega stated.
“I also thank the Department of the Interior for its work with the Pacific Insular areas and for supporting this program for 25 years now,” Faleomavaega added.
“While it is important for our young people to be knowledgeable about national affairs, it is just as crucial that they become active in their communities and local policy issues that affect their daily lives and the future of American Samoa.”
“I commend Close Up for providing this excellent service to our youth and I extend my gratitude to Close Up educational specialists, Liz Spurgeon and Sara Walkup, for their hard work. I thank them also for taking the time to visit my Washington, D.C. office to learn more about the culture and politics of American Samoa during their preparations for the Summit. I also offer my appreciation to all of our local educators and government officials who have assisted with planning and who will participate in the Summit.”
“Last but not least, I congratulate all of our students who were selected to participate and represent their schools in this year’s program. I am confident that everyone will greatly benefit from this educational experience as future leaders of American Samoa”, Congressman Faleomavaega concluded.
According to Close Up Foundation, the following teachers, educators, and government officials will also participate in this year’s Summit:
Salote Aoelua-Fanene, Nu'uuli Voc-Tech
Edmund Amataga, Leone
Donna Mataese, Samoana
Rhonda Tuia, Kananafou
Amanda Maeataanoa, Fa'asao-Marist
Tamara Tialavea, Samoana
Trina Tui, Tafuna
Faugagana Fagaava, Faga’itua
Celesty Tuiolosega, Manu’a
Randy Baker, Fa’asao-Marist
Peter Thomas, South Pacific Academy
Cynthia Horowitz, Pacific Horizons
Dan Bi Shin, Manumalo Baptist
ASG - DOE Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Accountability
DOI - Office of Insular Affairs