Service-Learning Initiative

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The Service-Learning Initiative (SLI) is a unique student-led introduction to service-learning and the local Chapel Hill-Carrboro community. SLI was created to introduce incoming first-year and transfer students to service and we are excited to expand this program to include an additional SLI opportunity open to all students at Carolina.

SLI Launch takes place at the beginning of fall semester and is open to new Carolina students. Each year, over three days in the week before classes start, participants learn about and work with APPLES community partners, become more aware of local social justice issues, form lasting friendships with other engaged students and are introduced to reflection as a tool for making meaning out of service experiences.

SLI Engage takes place during a weekend in spring semester and is open to all students at Carolina. This weekend program will include service in the community, conversations and activities around the topic of sustainability, and discussions on how to continue being engaged as a public servant not just in college, but during summer vacations or after graduation.

SLI participants are also introduced to other campus and community service organizations and become connected with a network of current students who may help during their Carolina experience. Many participants become involved with other components of the APPLES Service-Learning program or choose to be involved with planning and leading future SLI programs. There is a non-refundable fee associated with SLI.  Need-based financial assistance may be available upon request.

See What to Expect for a draft schedule.


To participate in SLI Launch, a student must:

  • Be an incoming first-year or transfer student at Carolina
  • Submit an online application
  • Pay a $60 non-refundable program fee, once accepted
  • Move into the dorms on the morning of the Wednesday before classes start
  • Be ready to learn a lot and have tons of fun!

Additionally, out-of-state students must attend a University first-year orientation session prior to the program. Students who need financial assistance in order to attend should contact CCPS staff adviser Becca Bender.

To participate in SLI Engage, a student must:

  • Be a current undergraduate student at Carolina
  • Submit an online application
  • Pay the required program fee, once accepted
  • Be available for the entirety of the program weekend and actively engage and participate
  • Be ready to learn how to engage in continued service and have fun!

Alternative Fall Break

APPLES integrates an alternative fall break experience into the SLI program to provide the opportunity for more continuity in students’ service-learning experiences at Carolina. Students who participate in SLI are eligible to apply and participate in an alternative fall break experience. This opportunity is available only to SLI participants. The SLI alternative fall break is led by two past SLI participants and enables participants to engage in service-learning focused on a particular social issue during the fall break of their first semester at Carolina. More information on this opportunity will be made available to participants during SLI each year.


Applications for SLI are closed.

For more information, contact