A Close-up on Close Up


Nerinx Hall students pose for a photo before the Inauguration.

Laura Smith, Features Editor

When Mr. Balfe was asked to describe the once-in-a-lifetime Close Up trip, he said, “It can be something amazing to go to whether you are political or not.” Close Up prides itself in giving students from varying backgrounds and opinions a new perspective of Washington D.C. Close Up takes place every year, and this year Ms. Johnson and Mr. Balfe took a Nerinx record of twenty-five Nerinx women to D.C. for the program. Close Up is a week-long program in which students visit the monuments, participate in a Mock-Congress, debate 21st century issues, and discover ways to instigate and participate in civil-discourse. However, the most memorable experience for these twenty-five Nerinx women was the Inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump. Junior Anna Pendleton reflected, “The Inauguration was breathtaking. Whether we liked Trump or not, we experienced first hand the peaceful transfer of power.”  

During their D.C. excursion, “We went to see a lot of memorials and museums […], including the new National Museum of African American History and Culture, which was a really cool experience,” says Anna Luepke, a sophomore, who went on the trip.

The Nerinx group also met people from all over the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and even El Salvador. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri talked with the Nerinx girls two days before he spoke at the inauguration. Mr. Balfe commented that even if the students had differing opinions, it was a great experience to witness democracy first-hand. He added, “You can breathe in all the history and all the politics that makes Washington D.C. such a great city…. It’s really an eye-opening experience whether someone’s getting elected or not.” Fortunately this amazing opportunity is offered every year to all sophomore, junior, and senior students. Through Close Up, students are given a chance to be a part of history, and all opinions, ethnicities, genders, and religions are welcome.