Expand your Reach. Change the World.

Do you remember your first trip to Washington, DC? The Washington Monument, the US capitol, the White House, the Lincoln Memorial and the reflecting pond where Dr. King gave his famous “I have a dream” speech? We think you'll agree that these are once-in-a-lifetime memories and very special for those who have had the privilege to visit our nation’s capital.

We are twenty-five 8th graders at Jahn School of the Fine Arts, an elementary school (PreK-8th grade) in the Roscoe Village neighborhood of Chicago, IL, and a Chicago Public School. We are diverse, passionate learners, optimistic, and excited about our future. We are from working-class families and are all familiar with the challenges of growing up in the real world. We have fantastic Jahn teachers willing to lead us on this trip to Washington. We know how exciting, educational, and inspirational this first trip to Washington DC will be for us. As we all know, it is one thing to read a book or watch a video; it is a whole other thing to see and hear first-hand all the sights and experiences that Washington DC offers. We will be up close and personal with US history; the monuments, memorials, museums, government buildings and interactive experiences. And oh, by the way, many of us have never even been on an airplane! We really can say that this trip will be unique, impactful, and something we will never forget. We get chills just thinking about it.

We are partnering with CloseUp, a well-respected educational nonprofit organization that seeks to serve young people from all communities and backgrounds, regardless of race, religion, gender, or socioeconomic level. “Close Up brings middle and high school students and teachers from across the nation and around the world to Washington, D.C., for a firsthand look at the federal government and the development of public policy. Close Up connects youth to their communities through challenging education programs and in-class resources, making civic learning a meaningful experience (CloseUp).” We believe CloseUp’s Washington DC program will help us grow into future civic leaders of our country.

The trip cost is ~$1600 per student (4 days, 3 nights), and for most of us, that’s nearly impossible. But we are a “can-do” bunch of students and will not take “no” for an answer. So, we are going to fundraise like crazy and that’s where you come in. We have a goal of $10,000 to help with the cost of the trip. We would be so grateful if you could give through our GoFundMe site; no amount is too small and you can give as often as you like! We are so excited about this opportunity and we appreciate you taking the time to read this and consider supporting our trip. Our Social Emotional Learning quote of the month says: “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” - Helen Keller.

Thank you for helping us to reach our goal. Your kindness and generosity will never be forgotten.

Donations (50)

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  • Lauren Mintzer
    • $18 
    • 7 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $20 
    • 7 mos
  • Jacqueline Kelly
    • $50 
    • 7 mos
  • Ray Yarkin
    • $250 
    • 8 mos
  • Jori and Sara
    • $36 
    • 8 mos
See all


Sydney Prystowsky
Chicago, IL
Close Up Foundation (Close Up)
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

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