Civics Matters Arizona

A civic engagement experience in partnership with Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs and the Arizona Cardinals.

Take part in a statewide civic engagement initiative! 

The Arizona Cardinals, the Governor of Arizona, Greater Phoenix Leadership (GPL), and Close Up are proud to partner for Civics Matters Arizona, an annual civic engagement initiative for students across the state. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young Arizonans, providing them with opportunities to become involved in their community, learn the importance of civic engagement, participate in an essay contest about making a difference, and—for the contest winners—an incredible summer trip to Washington, DC, on the Arizona Cardinals team plane! 

Check out this special invitation from Governor Katie Hobbs and highlights from the 2023 Civic Matters Arizona program!

What is Civics Matters Arizona and how do I get started?

This civic engagement initiative brings together a geographically diverse cohort of schools and students from across the state of Arizona to take part in a statewide program designed to help students learn the importance of active citizenship, become more involved in their schools and communities, and earn credit toward the Arizona Seal of Civics Literacy. Teachers will invite students to enter the Civics Matters Arizona essay contest to win a trip to DC in June on the Cardinals plane!

Implementing Civics Matters Arizona at your school:

Ideal Candidates: Motivated students currently in 9th and 10th grade, interested in becoming Civic Ambassadors and making an impact on issues they care about in their local community and the state of Arizona.

Step 1 – Confirmation: Complete this interest form to indicate your school/district’s intent to participate.

Step 2 – Essay Contest: Invite students to participate in the essay contest to be selected as an Arizona Civic Ambassador and join selected peers statewide on an all-expenses paid trip to DC. Students should submit a short essay response to one of the following prompts below.

  • Even without the right to vote, how can young people become engaged participants in their communities?
  • Why is civic engagement by everyday people important to the health of our democracy?
  • What challenges exist in your community and how can young people contribute to creating a positive change?

Step 3 – Student Selection: Using the rubric provided by Close Up, schools should select 6-8 Arizona Civic Ambassadors to represent their school community.

Step 4 – Arizona Civic Ambassador Orientation: After submitting essay contest winners to Close Up, students will be invited to an online orientation to the program and will receive access to the Civics Matters Arizona MobileServe app.

Step 5 – Washington, DC, Program (June 11-14, 2024): Traveling on the Arizona Cardinals’ team plane with a few special guests, 275 students from across Arizona will head to the nation’s capital for a four-day, three-night experience with Close Up.

Step 6 – Continued engagement as an Arizona Civic Ambassador: Following the DC trip, Arizona Civics Matters Ambassadors will receive monthly toolkits and recommendations for organizing impactful activities!

Arizona Seal of Civics Literacy (optional):

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should students and parents contact with any questions or concerns BEFORE the trip?
Who should students and parents contact with any questions or concerns DURING the trip?
How will the students be transported to/from Washington, DC?
What does a typical day look like?
Where do students stay during the program?
Can you tell me more about the student experience during the program?
What supervision structure is in place for the program? What training and qualifications do Close Up staff have?
Will students have a curfew? Is there night security at the hotel?
Can you tell me more about safety and security on a Close Up program?