Okla. Sequoyah High School senior, Anna Walker and SHS College
Prep Teacher Augusta Smith, recently returned to Tahlequah after
spending a week in Washington, D.C., with the National Indian Education
Association at the Close Up Foundation Academy. Walker was chosen
as one of only five students nationally to win a scholarship to
the prestigious program.
is the daughter of Steve and JoKay Dowell Falling, of Cookson, Okla.
award letter said Anna was chosen because of her commitment to academics
and to her community. Were very proud of her, said Dowell.
to its Web site, since 1971, Close Up has provided educational programs
in Washington that help students learn how they, as ordinary citizens,
can play key roles in the U.S. system of democracy. Close Up is
known for being fun and for positively impacting student attitudes.
had a great time. We were busy probably 10 hours of every day but
I learned so much. Its an experience I would recommend to
all young people, Walker said.
Academy gives young people from across the country an inside view
of the people, processes and places in the nations capitol.
Close Up students meet with key people in government, law, business
and media to gain real-world insights into how DC works. They meet
with members of Congress, or their staff, discuss hot issues with
policy experts and dialogue with journalists about how the media
shapes policy. Students also visit DCs many monuments and
historical sites, enabling them to connect history to the roles
they play in the nations democracy today.
also are kept busy with their own agenda of workshops and tours
but also spend time involved with and observing the students they
accompany to the program.
said it was fun to revisit DC where she had previously lived and
worked before coming back to the Tahlequah area.
was really a good trip. Anna did a great job representing Sequoyah.
She really is a leader. I was very proud of her, Smith said.
in DC, Walker appeared on the public affairs program, Close
Up at the Newseum, on C-SPAN, introducing the shows
host and guests, Native American Journalists Association Executive
Director Jeff Harjo and NAJA President Rhonda LaValdo.
by the Close Up Foundation, Close Up at the Newseum
has been seen nationally since 1979 and is one of the longest-running
programs involving young people in substantive discussions with
producers invited more than 100 students from the National Indian
Education Association and the United Southern and Eastern Tribes
to be in the audience and participate in the one-hour program.
who is Meskwaki, Quapaw and Cherokee, said she is even more determined
to meet her post-secondary educational goals. She plans to attend
one of several universities to which she has been accepted and focus
on a graphic design major.