Congressman Faleomavaega today announced that representatives from the Close Up Program are in American Samoa this week to host a three-day Youth Summit for local high school students. The civic education program will take place from Monday October 17th to Wednesday October 19th at the Lee Auditorium in Utulei.
According to the Close Up Foundation, approximately 60 high school students will work with Close Up education specialists to identify important public policy issues and develop an “Agenda for Policy Action”. During the course of the program students will meet with policy experts, conduct research, and work with one another to develop consensus solutions. Local teachers and educators, led by Paulo Salave’a and Salote Aoelua-Fanene, have assisted Close Up in the planning and coordination of the program and in preparing the students for their participation. Additionally, government officials will also participate in parts of the Youth Summit.
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. Each year thousands of students and teachers travel from around the country to Washington, D.C. to participate in Close Up’s week-long educational programs. This Close Up Youth Summit is the first of its kind to be held in American Samoa.
“Each year, I always look forward to hosting our Close Up students from American Samoa in my Washington, D.C. office and I am always impressed by the quality of programming that Close Up offers,” Congressman Faleomavaega stated.
“Through Close Up, students are given the opportunity to experience the Federal government first-hand, engage in dialogue with their peers, and voice their opinion with their federal representatives. During the many Close Up visits to my office over the years, I have always stressed to students the need for young people to become active in civic affairs,” Faleomavaega added.
“I commend Close-Up for providing this excellent service to our youth and I am pleased that students will have the opportunity to discuss current policy issues with local leaders. I extend my deep gratitude to Close Up education specialists, Gerald Taylor and Andy Clark, for their hard work and I thank them for taking the time to visit my office to learn more about the culture and politics of American Samoa during their preparations for the Summit. I also thank all of our local educators and government officials who have assisted with planning and who will participate in the Close Up Youth Summit,” Faleomavaega stated.
“I am confident that this year’s Summit will encourage our youth to be actively engaged in shaping the future of American Samoa. Last but not least, I congratulate all of the students who were selected to participate in this exceptional program and I wish all participants a successful and enjoyable Youth Summit,” Congressman Faleomavaega concluded.
The following teachers, educators, and government officials are scheduled to participate in this year’s summit:
Salote Aoelua-Fanene, Nu'uuli Voc-Tech
Brenda Aisoli, Samoana
John Maiava, Tafuna
Stephen Young, Faga'itua
Edmund Amataga, Leone
Donna Mataese, Manu'a
Rhonda Tuia, Kanana Fou
Amanda Maeataanoa, Fa'asao-Marist
DOE Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Accountability
DOI Office of Insular Affairs
American Samoa House of Representatives
Representative Galu Satele Jr.