Empower Youth Voices:
Malone Schools Program


Now more than ever, young people want to play a pivotal role in confronting and developing solutions to the pressing challenges facing our democracy, including political polarization, mistrust of institutions and fellow citizens, and an information crisis caused by hyperpartisanship and a fractured media landscape. During this program, students from across the Malone Schools will deliberate about pressing national issues, explore the political and structural barriers to change in our country, deepen their understanding of existing campaigns for change, and create solutions across geographical and ideological divides.

*These programs are open only to students enrolled at Malone Schools. If you are not a Malone School, please email us at programsupport@closeup.org


About Close Up
About Malone Schools Online Network (MSON)

Series 1: Deliberative Democracy


How can young people engage on issues that matter to them and create a space for an informed exchange of ideas and perspectives? 

Through this series of six online workshops facilitated by Close Up, students will develop a deeper understanding of complex policy challenges facing the nation, connect those issues to long-standing values and tensions, and gain a rich understanding of the value of deliberation in a democracy. Students will examine three major policy issues, evaluate proposals that represent a range of viewpoints, and consider, as a group, how to best address these issues. After deliberating, and developing a better understanding of their own values and priorities, students will participate in a training to develop the facilitation skills to lead controversial issue discussions with peers and in their own school communities. 

Dates & Pricing

Tuesdays & Thursdays after school | October 26 – November 9, 2021 | 8:00-9:15pm (EST) / 5:00-6:15pm (PST) 
On Tuesday, December 14, 2021, a final reflection and debrief will take place following student facilitated discussions at their schools. 

  • Cohort of 6 Students: $1350
  • Individual Student: $250

This program session and special rate is exclusively for students enrolled at Malone Schools in the 9th and 10th grade. You may nominate six students to represent your school in an examination of today’s most pressing issues with students from across the country.   

We recommend that students participate in both Series 1 and Series 2; however, we understand that students have many commitments and that it may only be possible to participate in one session. 

Close Up and MSON are committed to equity and inclusion. If you require financial assistance, please contact Close Up at programsupport@closeup.org. 


Space is limited. Please register by October 1, 2021 to confirm your participation. 


Series 2: Critical Issue Inquiry


As a country, why can’t we reach consensus on pressing issues like environmental regulation, gun control, and immigration? What is it about the way that different groups communicate that causes decision-making to break down? 

Through this series of six online workshops facilitated by Close Up, students will engage in inquiry and deliberation on an issue of their choice and investigate the ways in which dialogue and deliberation around that issue breaks down along partisan, ideological, and cultural lines. Students will identify talking points, rhetorical moves, and discursive behaviors that make deliberation and perspective sharing challenging. 

January 2022 – Details coming soon!


Youth Policy Summit


The five-day Youth Policy Summit in Washington, D.C., equips students with the tools and knowledge to become catalysts for change in their communities. Students will network with diverse peers nationwide; hear inspiring stories from young activists on strategies and models of advocacy and activism; deepen their understanding of issues and root causes in their communities; work in national teams to create meaningful solutions and craft policy proposals; and have a chance to present their proposals to decisionmakers on Capitol Hill. 

In order to be eligible for the Youth Policy Summit in Washington, DC, students must attend at least one of the online sessions. 

Summer 2022 – Dates coming soon!

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

If you have any questions, or if your school/group is interested in customizing dates for an entire grade or course, please contact us at programsupport@closeup.org.





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Over 93% of students said Close Up’s virtual programs…

helped them understand the importance of using their voice to make change in their communities.