Early into their career as Tar Heels, a group of selected first-year students have an opportunity to come together to participate in activities that deepen their academic and practical experience in public service. The First-Year Service Corps (FYSC), a program of the Carolina Center for Public Service, offers students an organized way to engage with faculty and staff throughout the year to explore and increase their understanding of and commitment to service.
Phoebe Castelblanco ’17, a First-Year Service Corps participant, said, “[the] First-Year Service Corps surprised me with the approach we took to service. We didn’t just jump into group volunteer-work, we learned why we were there and exactly how the community had gotten to the point where we came in. Gaining that knowledge developed a connection and more importantly, mutual respect. That was a new approach for me, but I definitely won’t forget it now.”
Through FYSC, students benefit from:
• An immersion orientation before fall classes begin
• A special summer reading discussion group
• Capacity-building sessions led by faculty, staff, community partners and Carolina students
• Continued networking and leadership opportunities program completion
Courtney Sanford ‘14, a Buckley Public Service Scholar and biostatistics major who helped plan activities for the First-Year Service Corps said, “For the past two years I’ve been the student leader for the First-Year Service Corps. I’ve gotten to use my own service experience to help incoming students begin reflecting more deeply on the meaning of service and how it can connect to their academic and extracurricular activities at UNC.
“Seeing the first-year students’ excitement, passion and depth of thought as they’re just beginning their college careers makes me excited to see how they will develop and grow during their time here,” Sanford said. “I have no doubt that this group of students will have an impact on UNC throughout their time and service here.”
First-Year Service Corps participants also get an early start in the Buckley Public Service Scholars program, putting them on a path to leadership within the program as well as on campus.
To learn more about the First-Year Service Corps and the Buckley Public Service Scholars program, visit First-Year Service Corps online.