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2021 fellowships

Being Desi in America

Fariha Rahman
Maliha Bhuiyan
Belawal Ahmed
Fariah Marzan

Being Desi in America is a podcast aiming to increase cultural awareness and competency by highlighting the personal and professional experiences of Bengalis and others of South Asian descent. Specifically, this podcast will be a platform for South Asians, particularly Bengalis who are often less represented relative to other South Asian cultures, to discuss the influence of their culture on their lives in America. The podcast hopes to host a multitude of guests, ranging from college students and community members to influencers and professionals to showcase a variety of individual experiences.

The Black Entrepreneur Initiative

Sherrod Crum
Kenechuckwu Awajeh
Jamal Smith

The Black Entrepreneur Initiative is an organization geared towards cultivating a network and community for black entrepreneurs, creators and innovators at Carolina and across other college campuses. As a future nonprofit organization, BEI aims to someday be a financial resource for Black entrepreneurs and ventures across Carolina and other campuses. The organization will begin by hosting BEI-sponsored pitch competitions that will provide funding for students to apply for licensing, purchase business cards and pursue opportunities that can contribute to their brand as a professional and entrepreneur.


Lydia Rowen
Ideliya Khismatova
Daniel Sheyko
Caroline Shubel
Olivia Tseng
Sara Vandersip

CompostMates aims to provide off-campus students with curbside food waste collection services. In July of 2019, the Town of Chapel Hill performed a trash audit and discovered that about 55% of the waste was compostable. Orange County currently offers three locations to drop off compostable materials; however, this is not the most convenient option for many students living off-campus. This project brings together various UNC service organizations to divert compostable materials from the trash to local composting sites.

GROW (Generating Resources and Opportunities for Wellness)

Leyla Ozelkan
James (Jack) Hendrickson
Chase Lober
Tori McFarlane
Jamie DelGrosso
Tana Washaya

GROW is a project that provides resources and opportunities centered on nutritional, mental and physical wellness for those experiencing food insecurity in the Durham and Chapel Hill communities. These resources will be curated towards the demographics of the population served by the Durham Community Food Pantry to inform ways to create a sustainable solution within the community. In addition to creating resources dedicated to wellness, GROW will host a wellness festival to celebrate and engage the community.

Healthy Hands Initiative: Pilot Project in Bokaro, Jharkhand, India

Amirsaman Zahabioun
Aditi Chiney
Aisha Siddiqui
Jash Mirani
Mehal Churiwal
Jonah Im
Tejas Pruthi
Caroline Crawley
Sree Gogineni
Dede Benissan
Nina Suresh
Hattie Morehead

Healthy Hands Initiative (HHI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that aims to promote health equity in impoverished villages in the Bokaro district of Jharkhand, India, by implementing sustainable clean water projects. HHI will facilitate the construction and maintenance of hand pumps to replace the local reliance of polluted water sources. Through its community-centered approach, HHI strives to deliver culturally appropriate and cost-effective solutions that serve the needs of hundreds of villagers and ultimately reduce the high rates of disease in their target regions. Learn more on the HHI website.

Trav’s World

Jazmine Bunch
Chasity Pate

Jazmine Bunch founded Trav’s World in memorial of her brother, Travis Bunch, who was killed by gun violence in May 2020. The project will seek to address gun violence and youth alternatives by focusing on three pillars: mentorship, Black community engagement and advocacy, and community healing with a focus on families who’ve been impacted by gun violence in Hertford County. With crime and poverty being major issues plaguing the area, stemming from a lack of resources and alternatives, Trav’s World will attempt to liven the town with opportunities and events aimed to uplift and engage.