Civics Matters Arizona

A summer experience in partnership with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and the Arizona Cardinals

Close Up is excited to partner with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and the Arizona Cardinals for Civics Matters Arizona, an annual statewide competition and once-in-a-lifetime civic education experience. This program invites young Arizonans in grades 8-11 to submit essays about community and civic involvement, young people who have made a difference, or how to build “a more perfect union.” The selected winners will take part in a thrilling summer trip to Washington, DC, to meet with elected officials, experience historical sites, and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how government works.



Program Details


Dates: June 22-25, 2022

Eligibility: Participating schools will invite students in grades 8-11 to submit a 500-word essay in response to one of three prompts. Each school will set judging criteria and govern the selection of 5-10 students to participate in the program with a goal of reaching students from all communities and backgrounds without regard to race, religion, gender, socioeconomic status, or academic standing.


  • April 1st Submit intent for school to participate.
  • April 8th – Confirmation notification and next steps.
  • April 22nd – Student essays and parent permission slips due to sponsoring teacher.
  • April 29th – Final selection of students due to Close Up. Please upload your participant list and finalist essays here.
  • June 15th at 4:00pm (Arizona time) – Final Pre-Program Info Session. Register here.
  • May 20th – Final deadline for students to be fully registered in the Close Up system (or spots will be offered to waitlist).
  • June 22nd – Depart for Washington, DC!

Participation in a Close Up program requires parent or guardian approval for any participants under 18 years of age. 



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?
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?
Is there a dress code? 
Will students need any spending money during the program? 
What are the required medical forms? 
Should students bring their own medicine? 
What if someone gets sick during their time in DC?