Feb 9, 2016
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With donations from individuals, a couple of 23rd Street businesses and a $14,154 contribution from the City of San Pablo, a 14-year-old program sending Richmond High students to an educational trip in Washington D.C. has achieved its fundraising goals.

We were among the news outlets that helped spread the word about how the program was struggling to raise the full $40,000 needed ($2,200 per student) for the all-expenses paid trip organized by Close Up Foundation.

The extensive news coverage encouraged a flurry of donations ahead of the Feb. 5 deadline to pay for the trip, which runs from April 2-8, said Valerie Estrada, Close Up coordinator.

On Tuesday, the City of San Pablo announced a major contribution that ensured the students would reach their fundraising goal. It provided $14,154 to the West Contra Costa Unified School District to enable seven San Pablo residents who are part of the Close Up program to travel to D.C.

“The City of San Pablo City Council decided to respond to this funding request to help disadvantaged youth in experiencing the nation’s capital,” San Pablo Mayor Rich Kinney said in a statement. “Our San Pablo community is extremely proud of their accomplishments, and we wish them the best of luck as they experience first-hand the history, politics, and culture of the nation’s capital.”

The all-inclusive program covers travel expenses, academic workshops, meals and lodging. Students who participate have committed to keeping at least a 3.0 GPA, to being an outstanding citizen and to helping to raise funds for the trip.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.