IMPACT for Middle School Students

Join us for Impact – a unique and engaging virtual program designed to help middle school and high school students develop the skills necessary to pursue a passion, tackle a community need, and form a network with other young leaders from across the country. The National Network of Schools in Partnership and Close Up Foundation have partnered to offer Impact, a program designed to help young people connect to the world around them, develop their sense of purpose, and empower them to make a local impact on global issues. Led by Close Up Instructors, Impact has two program options:

Never has there been a more important time for young people to connect across distance and divides, engage with diverse perspectives, and understand pressing global issues. During the 2021-2022 school year, Close Up and the NNSP will bring together middle school students from around the country to build inclusive communities, develop the skills needed for active citizenship, and learn from the stories, the successes, and the setbacks of other young change-makers. By engaging young people from communities nationwide in meaningful dialogue, we aim to help students develop empathy for the perspectives of others and build the skills and confidence needed to empower a generation of change-makers.

Program Objectives:

Civic Ambassadors Program (8th Grade)
Fall 2021 (6 sessions)
The Civic Ambassadors program is a special opportunity to nominate four 8th grade students to represent your
school in an examination of today’s most pressing issues with other students from across the country. Through
this series of six online civic engagement workshops, students will build relationships, connect their experiences
and personal stories to ongoing political debates and policy deliberations, and return back home to share what
they have learned as civic ambassadors of their school communities. Past civic ambassadors’ actions have
included facilitating issue-centered deliberations for lower grades, starting a student ambassador advisory board,
and creating "lunch box talks" to allow space for difficult dialogues.

Civic Leaders Program (6th and 7th Grade)
Winter 2022 (4 sessions)
The Civic Leaders program helps middle school students build the foundational skills for active and engaged
citizenship. Students will share their stories, experiences, and ideas through the creation of a community timeline;
learn about neighborhoods and the systems that are in place to support community members and how those
systems can lead to inequity and opportunity gaps; and consider how people make an impact by examining case
studies of young activists who have affected change in their communities. Through these workshops, students will
learn that there are many pathways to change, and consider what strategies they might use to address an issue
they care about in their own local community.

National Youth Summit (Rising 8th and 9th Graders)
Washington, DC – Summer 2022
The five-day Youth Summit equips students with the tools and knowledge they need to become catalysts for
change. Students will network with diverse peers nationwide, hear inspiring stories from young activists about
models of advocacy and activism, enhance their understanding of community issues and root causes, evaluate
proposals that represent a range of viewpoints, and consider, as a group, how to best address those issues.

Program Structure
Program Eligibility: The Civic Ambassadors program is open to 8th grade students and the Civic Leaders program is designed for 6th and 7th graders. Each school will have an opportunity to nominate a cohort of 6 students per program to represent their school in an examination of today’s most pressing issues with students from across the country.

Online Sessions: Generally, our online sessions take place in the evening, however, if there is a time during the school day that works for multiple schools, we may be able to schedule sessions during the school day.

Youth Policy Summit: In order to be eligible for the Youth Policy Summit in Washington, DC, students must attend at least one of the online sessions and be a rising 8th or rising 9th grader. 

Program Cost
Close Up & NNSP Member Price:

Individual student Price (per series): $250
4-Day Youth Summit: Approximately $1600 + Airfare 

Financial Aid
Close Up and NNSP are deeply committed to ensuring that their programs are available to students of all backgrounds. For Online Series #1 and Series #2, IMPACT will offer need-based financial aid for students that qualify. Close Up and NNSP are committed to fundraising for the Youth Policy Summit and will provide a limited number of scholarships for students that qualify.

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