Onslow Co. high schoolers collaborate to make new military students feel at home

SWANSBORO, N.C. (WNCT) – Onslow County students serving as mentors to transitioning military students joined together Monday at a summit allowing seven schools to join together and collaborate on their programs.

Swansboro High School was one of the first schools in Onslow County to implement the student-to-student program.

Select upperclassmen serve as mentors for the roughly 40 percent of military students who make up the county’s school population.

“We are wanting those new students or any military-affiliated students to be feeling accepted,” said Brooke Burnett, a counselor at Swansboro High School.

On average, military kids transition between seven to nine times between kindergarten and 12th grade.

“Every time they transition, there’s that opportunity for them to get left behind — lose out on friendships, have to catch up on their academics,” said Julie Fulton, Marine Corps school liaison officer. “So the quicker they can get connected with their school community, the better.”

That means giving tours of the building and advice on classes and teachers.

Students, liaisons and advisers went on tours and attended information sessions on improving their programs.

Commanding general of Camp Lejeune, Brig. Gen. Thomas Weidley, also stopped by to offer the students encouragement.

“Moving forward, use those opportunities to answer a leadership role, said Weidley. “Take care of your fellow students.”

Weidley said he wants every school in the area to have a student-to-student program.
Topsail High School junionr Julia Nasco said she is taking the summit’s lessons back with them.

“I think that if more information was available for our students to see, kids could get more involved,” Nasco said.

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