The Arizona Cardinals Football Club and State Farm are partnering to send 241 high school students and 30 chaperone teachers from across the state on an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. as part of the Civics Matters Arizona program.
The Cardinals are supporting the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and providing their team plane to fly the group to and from Washington D.C. The travel party will leave Phoenix on June 22 and return on June 25.
While there, the individuals will have the opportunity to meet with elected officials, visit historical landmarks and learn first-hand how government works, with the hope of inspiring and empowering them to make a difference in their respective communities.
"These young women and men have demonstrated the potential to be future leaders of our community and our nation," Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said. "We are hopeful this experience and others will result in learning more about the process of government and the role they can play in affecting positive change."
The Civics Matters Arizona program was inspired by the policies set forth by Governor Doug Ducey's ongoing effort to prioritize the teaching of American Civics. Arizona was the first state in the nation to pass the American Civics Act, requiring high school students to pass the citizenship test before graduation. Other initiatives include strengthening education about the Holocaust and other genocides, as well as making teaching the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks mandatory.
"State Farm is proud to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience for students in Arizona," said Denise Hardin, senior vice president at State Farm. "We are committed to building better educated communities and helping students reach their greatest potential by informing, inspiring, and empowering each of them to become active participants in our democracy."
Also providing financial support for this project are: Chicanos Por La Causa, APS, Raza Development Fund, and Greater Phoenix Leadership (GPL).
The students - who are entering grades 9-12 - represent 46 Arizona schools, 20 school districts, 11 cities and four counties. They will attend multiple workshops while also touring historical landmarks such as Arlington National Cemetery, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Capitol Hill, and the Smithsonian National Museum as well as memorials honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Students taking part in the trip were selected after submitting a 500-word essay about community and civic involvement, young people who have made a difference, or how to build "a more perfect union." The criteria was created in collaboration with Governor Ducey.