Chapel Hill, N.C. – Two hundred and fifty-eight members of the 2013 class of Buckley Public Service Scholars will be honored May 10 at a ceremony in Memorial Hall, highlighting their years of service while at Carolina. All graduates will receive a Carolina blue and white cord to wear at commencement on May 12 to represent their achievement.
The Buckley Public Service Scholars program, part of the Carolina Center for Public Service, supports and strengthens Carolina students’ commitment to service, connects them to others who care about similar issues and guides them through training and course work that make their service more effective. Launched in 2003, the program continues to grow, and presently 9.2 percent of Carolina undergraduates are enrolled as participants. In 2011, the Carolina Center for Public Service announced the establishment of the Walter White Buckley Jr. Endowment and thanks to this endowment from an anonymous donor, Buckley Public Service Scholars will graduate for generations to come.
Buckley Public Service Scholar participants must have a minimum grade-point average, complete at least 300 hours of service, take one service-learning course and attend four skills-training workshops. Most of this year’s graduates exceeded those requirements, on average completing more than 450 hours of service. Fifteen students reported more than 1,000 hours each, and two students recorded more than 2,000. These students join the 1,280 past Buckley Public Service Scholars who have graduated since 2003.
“The Buckley Public Service Scholars program opened up a whole new aspect of UNC that I was not aware of when I enrolled,” said senior Sarbajeet Nagdas. “However through my activities, I soon realized how much I enjoyed public service and its great educational potential. The great value and joy I found in public service through the program led me to slightly shift my goals to a more service oriented career.”
This year, participating students reported service with more than 1,000 organizations. Students served with community partners like the TABLE, UNC Dance Marathon, Habitat for Humanity, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and Autism Outreach.
Since the program’s inception in 2003, more than 5,635 students have participated, contributing 1,137,360 hours of service. The 2013 graduating class of Buckley Public Service Scholars reported 114,558 hours of service as of early April 2013. Of those hours, 69.5 percent were served in North Carolina, 13 percent in other states and 17.5 percent internationally.
“During their time at Carolina, these impressive students have strengthened their commitment to service while also expanding their skills as they connected with communities in North Carolina, across the United States and around the world,” said Lynn Blanchard, director of the Carolina Center for Public Service. “Each has demonstrated dedication and passion in serving and we commend them for their accomplishments.”
The Center offers a variety of programs that support public service and engagement, providing students, faculty and staff many ways to explore service opportunities, learn new skills and link their academic endeavors to making a difference in the community.
For more information about each Buckley Public Service Scholar, view our 2013 Graduation Bulletin.
2013 Buckley Public Service Scholar graduates by county, state and country
Ana Cabello-De La Garza
Yesenia Pedro Vicente
Mary Nell Johnson
Kevin Christian Flores
Varun Tej Gonuguntla
Mary Katherine Weinel
Julia Da Silva