Onslow County Close Up Program
In the late 1980's, a group of OCS Social Studies teachers led by Louisa Ringo at White Oak High School, came up with the idea for a program which would help get students interested in - and better understand - local government. Sponsored by OCS and Onslow County Government, the first Onslow County Close Up Program was held in the spring of 1990.
The idea behind the program was simple - help high school students gain a better understanding and appreciation for the impact of local government on their lives. The program has changed slightly over the years, but continues to provide an opportunity for students from all OCS high schools, the Onslow County Learning Center, and Lejeune High School to interact with local government officials and to receive a "behind the scenes" look at local government.
Participants for the Close Up Program are selected by a school advisor and spend a full-day learning about various aspects of local government. The morning portion of the program includes a Q&A session with the superintendents of OCS and Camp Lejeune Dependent Schools, a panel discussion and mock meeting with Onslow County commissioners, and a presentation from the district attorney. The afternoon sessions have included tours of the Onslow County Detention Center, demonstrations from the Onslow County Sheriff's Department K-9 Unit, static presentations and Q&A with OCSD Drug Enforcement Unit, and behind the scenes tours of the Albert J. Ellis Airport emergency services facility and terminal.
In the middle of the day, there is a luncheon featuring members of our local state legislative delegation. Following the meal, each legislator is given the opportunity to share a little about their background, as well as their duties and responsibilities as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly. At the conclusion of these brief presentations, the floor is opened to our students for a question and answer session focusing on state level government and its impact here in Onslow County.
Due to complications from Hurricane Florence in 2019, and COVID during 2020 and 2021, the Close Up Program was put on hold. We are looking forward to getting back on track and celebrating the 30th year of Onslow County Close Up on Friday, March 17, 2023.