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Posted: 10:27 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013
MONROE, N.C. —
A local teenager will be in the crowd when President Barack Obama takes the oath of office. A nonprofit group picked the Union County student to make the trip. Michael Anderson leaves Thursday for the six-day trip, where he will learn about all aspects of government. "I had to write an essay, submit my grades and they checked community service," he said. He was selected for a national youth program called Close Up. Anderson will attend the presidential inauguration, and the inaugural ball. "Hopefully I can get an up-close chance to meet some senators, (the) secretary of state. They said not the president but just hopefully some other people," he said. The 10th-grader at Central Academy in Monroe will also join more than 2,000 teens from across the country for mock debates. It almost didn't happen, but when scholarship money ran out, his parents didn't give up. "We couldn't have done it without donors. When it didn't look good, we picked up the phone," said his father, Hezekiah Anderson. It's a community effort to support a student who dreams of possibly working in the Pentagon one day. "His GPA is approaching 4.0, he's on the honor roll, he's a football player and runs track. We couldn't be more proud of this young man," said Dr. Shaun Poole, principal of the academy. This will be Anderson's first plane trip. When he returns, the school wants him to share what he learned and post a feature story on its website for everyone in Union County. When Obama is sworn in for his second term Monday, dozens of police from Charlotte will be there to protect him. Forty Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers will leave Saturday morning for Washington. They'll be assigned to crowd control at the convention center. The federal government will reimburse all of their salaries and expenses.
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