Supporting students as they explore service beyond the scope of traditional volunteerism is a core component of the Buckley Public Service Scholars (BPSS) program, which provides a framework for undergraduates to maintain and strengthen their commitment to service. Buckley Scholar Wes Wollard ’12 used his time in the program to work with a variety of organizations, immersing himself in Carolina’s culture of service, giving back to the community and connecting those efforts to his academic experience. “My service work transformed from sporadic volunteerism to a deeper engagement that sought to have a sustained positive impact on the lives of others. I’m indebted to BPSS for the encouragement to break out of my comfort zone and [for helping me] better understand the adversity and hardships others face,” Wollard said. This type of engagement represents the distinctive nature of the BPSS program: challenging students to deepen their understanding of social issues and providing unique opportunities such as the Philanthropy as a Tool for Social Change and SMART courses and scholarships to North Carolina Outward Bound. As they graduate, Buckley Public Service Scholars prepare a portfolio project that synthesizes how their experiences and connections with organizations in the local community, across North Carolina, throughout the United States and around the world have had a lasting impact on their time at Carolina as well as their future endeavors.
“Joining the BPSS program was one of the best decisions I made in my time at Carolina. I’m grateful for the holistic approach to service that was encouraged and taught through the program. The combination of volunteer work, classroom learning and trainings not only transformed my understanding of service but also drove the growth in my passion for it. Ultimately, my experiences through BPSS inspired my decision to work for the government following graduation.” ~ Wes Wollard, Buckley Public Service Scholar