The Washington, D.C.-based Close Up Foundation is in the Virgin Islands this week to host a three-day Youth Summit for local high school students at the St. Croix Educational Complex, according to Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen's Office.
The summit Wednesday through Friday will bring together 60 high school students from throughout the territory to examine public issues and community concerns and make recommendations on policies to address these issues, culminating in the students’ development of “Policy Proposals and Youth Agenda,” according to the delegate's office, which played a role in the summit’s planning.
This is the second time that Close Up is conducting a civic education program locally. The first summit was hosted last year on St. Thomas.
“Programs such as Close Up clearly demonstrate that having active and engaged citizens is vital to democracy," Christensen said in the statement.
Students are “given an opportunity to experience government first-hand, engage in dialogue with their peers and voice their opinion with their representatives,” she said. “They leave with a better understanding of how their government operates and become real, active participants in this democracy.”
Christensen will address the students Wednesday at 1 p.m.
One of the highlights of the youth summit will be a policy issues forum Thursday at 10 a.m. The panel will discuss political, public policy and social issues affecting students in the territory and will guide the students in forming their agenda. Friday at 4 p.m. the students will present their agenda for legislative action to members of the V.I. Legislature.