Previous Bryan Fellowships
CPALS Festival of Hope
Mary Virginia Glennon
The Festival of Hope will be an event for UNC pediatric cancer patients, their families, UNC Pediatric Hematology-Oncology clinic staff and CPALS. Pandemic life, being quarantined and unable to leave the house, is something pediatric cancer patients experience throughout their treatment (even in normal times). The Festival of Hope will be a fun and safe opportunity for the kids to get to just be kids. CPALS club members will host activities such as arts and crafts and a dance party, for all to take a break from the stress of treatment and connect with one another.
The Lemur Project
The Lemur Project is a campaign focused on raising awareness and taking action for the conservation and rehabilitation of endangered endemic species, such as the lemur. The campaign hopes to bring together like-minded environmentalists through reaching out to local high schools and organizations within the Chapel Hill community. The activities of this project include organizing educational discussions, speaker events, and informative PSAs and booths. The campaign also serves to shed further light on issues pertaining to animal welfare, specifically the illegal animal trade and lack of animal ownership regulation in NC.
Menstrual Cups for Menstrual Equity
Menstrual Cups for Menstrual Equity aims to stop period poverty and create long-term menstrual equity in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area by providing free menstrual products to menstruators in need. Additionally, Menstrual Cups for Menstrual Equity aims to increase education and awareness as well as decrease the stigma surrounding menstrual cups and menstrual equity by creating pamphlets, infographics, and presentations in both Spanish and English. The main partner for Menstrual Cups for Menstrual Equity will be the Compass Center in Chapel Hill.
Outreach Program by the TEACH Initiative
The Outreach Program by the TEACH Initiative provides tailored talks with North Carolina high
school students through evidence-based presentations on mental health and substance use. The
mental health curriculum focuses on depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, and the substance
use curriculum focuses on cocaine, benzodiazepines, methamphetamine, and opioids. The opioid
and mental health crisis significantly impacts youth, and while existing organizations have
circulated information on these societal issues, the TEACH Initiative fills a niche that existing
programs do not cover. The lessons, taught by UNC undergraduates, focus on prevention and
harm reduction and are packaged in a low-intensity, supportive, and conversational format,
intending to eliminate common knowledge gaps and approach students as older peers. This
near-peer educational model is more engaging and encouraging than traditional models,
improving program efficacy and increasing students’ confidence to seek additional support for
themselves and others. Students need the tools to recognize prevalent mental health concerns and
psychiatric conditions and overcome psychological care barriers. Understanding the risks
associated with mixing drugs and what to do during an overdose would promote the idea of harm
reduction while discouraging use, arming a generation with the tools to respond to substance use
Visibility Forward is an educational organization that seeks to increase the teaching of Asian American history in secondary school classrooms throughout the United States. To that end, the organization plans to compile a comprehensive catalogue of resources that educators can utilize and incorporate into their own lesson plans. Visibility Forward plans to implement change through policy development to ensure knowledge of Asian American issues and understanding within North Carolina and the broader US. In light of anti-Asian violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, Visibility Forward’s ultimate goal is to increase public well-being and safety, increase Asian American visibility, and create a more compassionate society.
Being Desi in America
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
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.
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)
James (Jack) Hendrickson
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
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.
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.
Carolina Adapts Toys for Children (CATCH)
CATCH is a project that strives to catch children who are overlooked in the conventional toy market. Participants utilize creative thinking and engineering problem-solving skills to adapt electronic toys to be more accessible. The adapted toys are then donated to nearby hospitals and toy libraries. The project evolves as participants develop new methods and techniques for adaptation. CATCH hopes to continue to grow its presence on campus and the community, especially by passing on its techniques to the parents or guardians of the children.
Mission: Scholarship College Readiness Tour
The Mission: Scholarship College Readiness Tour consists of multiple college seminars and workshops at over twenty predominantly minority high schools across the state North Carolina. These college seminars will include information on how students should best prepare for the complex college admissions and scholarship process. Mission: Scholarship seminars will primarily feature essay development, filling out the common application and workshops on applying to scholarship and grants.
Pink STREAM (Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Arts and Math)
Merve Rida Bayraktar
According to the meta-analysis of five decades of U.S. studies, among children who are asked to draw a scientist, only 28 percent draw a women scientist. In 1977 the percentage was less than 1 percent, so there has been a significant increase; however, the stereotypes are still apparent. This especially is a problem for girls who cannot find role models in the field and feel excluded from these fields. Pink STREAM’s goal is to educate, motivate, empower and inspire women and minorities in science, technology, robotics, engineering, arts and math, and get rid of the stereotypes. The steps towards this goal are taken by educating K-5 students about STREAM topics and a diverse range of role models through courses in the community, books, youtube videos, trips, social media and more. Learn more on the Pink STREAM website.
DOula Training for Student (DOTS)
DOTS is a training program for students at Carolina to become doulas (non-medical persons who provide support and guidance to pregnant women). Trained students are then provided with opportunities to connect with women in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area who perhaps are lacking the assistance of a partner, family or the means of finding a support system. They can also choose to participate with organizations such as UNC Birth Partners, Durham Volunteer Doulas and Carolina Women’s Center.
UNCUT is a student-athlete storytelling platform that highlights the human side of college athletes. A student-led and athlete-driven nonprofit, UNCUT commits itself to authenticity, providing student-athletes the platform to discuss the social issues, passions and stories that have affected them off the playing field. Student-athletes are often defined by their wins, statistics and contribution to the team, which may lead to adverse effects on playing ability, morale and mental health. UNCUT gives student-athletes the voice to show that they are more than just a jersey number – they are human, too.
The (Uni)versed Podcast
The (Uni)versed Podcast aims to transform social justice from a lecture to a roundtable discussion. Often social justice can seem intimidating, with various terms and language that doesn’t always seem accessible. By grappling with issues prominent in youth and campus culture, The (Uni)versed Podcast hopes to make conversations about social justice accessible, relatable and relevant.
Anansi is a collaborative online clothing market created in an effort to connect talented Ghanaians to the growing international market for authentic African wear and provide them with fair prices to support social mobility. Anansi’s mission is to ensure that the diverse cultures of Ghana are authentically represented and celebrated. Organizers plan to contribute a portion of the proceeds of each purchase to support the efforts for social progress in Ghana. The aim is for purchases to initiate a chain reaction that nurtures the talent of local Ghanaian people.
Farm the Future
With the American farmer being about 60 years old on average, the vast majority of farmers are approaching retirement, yet only 10 percent of farmers have plans for passing on their land. Farm the Future is a social platform to increase access to information and resources regarding farm transitions and to assist with farm transitions. The platform will be utilized by people entering farming, retiring farmers and agencies who are already involved with farm transitions. Farm the Future’s main function is to centralize and simplify the process of farm transitions by connecting all of the relevant stakeholders regardless of geographic location and background on one platform.
Jump Ahead After School Program
The Jump Ahead After School Program aims to reverse the childhood obesity trend in North Carolina while improving mental health and academic performance among elementary school students, all with the help of jump rope. This program will combine weekly jump rope clinics with nutrition education and healthy food options for after school programs around Chapel Hill and Durham. In addition, it will promote healthy lifestyles and educate elementary school students about the many components of health, including physical, mental and social wellbeing. Through this program, students will be able to use jump rope as an outlet for building healthy relationships and self confidence, while learning a fun, new form of physical activity.
O.C.E.A.N.S stands for outreach, community engagement, and support. The organization hopes to empower adolescents with obesity by focusing on their individual journeys and their environment. This occurs by focusing on empowering adolescents through three different areas of programming including monthly socials, an annual 5k run/walk and policy-based advocacy through the website.
Queen In You
Queen In You is a women’s empowerment organization that focuses on professional development and cotillion for young women of color. UNC’s chapter of Queen In You currently serves in Githens Middle School and is aiming to expand into high schools in the Durham/Carrboro/Chapel Hill area. It will be initiated through an upcoming spring conference for high school female students. This conference will cultivate long-lasting relationships between collegiate and high school women of color that will promote healthy life choices and encourage them to seek out post-secondary education.
AdaptED (formerly Carolina Adaptive Athletics
UNC-Chapel Hill has a national and an international reputation for excellence in athletics. Carolina has 43 team national championships in seven different sports and more than 50 individual national championships. Seventeen Tar Heels competed in the Rio Olympics. That tradition of excellence has not only yielded tremendous accomplishments, but also has led to a unique sense of identity and community for all Carolina students. Many students enjoy intramural and club sports, and nearly all of us take pride in cheering on our student-athlete classmates. However, this tradition is not accessible for all students. For students with developmental and physical disabilities, there are currently no intramural, club or varsity athletics offered.
Carolina Adapted Athletics aims to solve this problem by partnering with nonprofits and community organizations to bring athletic training opportunities, like learning to ride a bike to campus, while also establishing a competitive wheelchair basketball team and intramural wheelchair athletic opportunities.
dēmos is a social venture aimed at increasing participation in local governments by improving information accessibility and transparency through a digital platform. By incorporating data analytics, demographic and policy research and user-focused design, it presents to citizens relevant information on issues that impact their lives in an easily-digestible, personalized format. The founders hope to educate citizens on the issues impacting their daily lives and give them the ability to voice their concerns to decision-makers in their community. They will then aggregate community input and present it to relevant policymakers through a customized dashboard designed to provide real-time insights on community sentiments on their policies and actions.
Intentional Student Living Learning Home in the Northside Neighborhood
The Intentional Student Learning Home in the Northside Neighborhood aims to redirect disruptive party homes into a service-learning community to preserve the history and family-oriented environment of Chapel Hill’s historically Black neighborhood. This project will provide an experiential opportunity for students to deepen their involvement in the community while supporting long-term residents and their goals.
NaTajha R. Phillips
Magik G.L.O.W. (Girls Learning and Owning Their Worth) is a service initiative founded in spring of 2017. Through a partnership with McDougle Middle School in Chapel Hill, from 3-5 p.m. every Wednesday, Covenant and Achieve Scholars mentor young black girls to help them cultivate their full potential. Volunteers assist the girls with their homework, plan and participate in group activities such as singing, stepping, interactive learning games and workshops related to self-confidence, health, hair care, body image and loving the skin you’re in. Despite Chapel Hill’s prominence as home to one of the nations top public universities, the local public school system is no exception to the achievement gap between white students and their minority peers. According to a Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis study Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools have the second largest achievement gap between Black and White students in the country. Magik G.L.O.W. identified middle school as a pivotal transition stage, one situated between an age of rapid development and the foundations for a high school career and beyond.
Through acting and the dramatic arts, Stage Play helps children with autism cope with the common stressors and challenges of navigating through social environments. Stage Play recruits volunteers who are involved in dramatic arts as well as special needs care/education. These volunteers are each paired with a child with autism and engage in the acting activities with them, providing friendship and guidance.
UNC-CH Mental Health Ambassadors
Kaki Ann Ryan
The mission of UNC-Chapel Hill Mental Health Ambassadors (MHAs) is to promote conversation around mental health, destigmatize mental illness, facilitate support networks and present educative programming on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill. MHA finds its specific niche in its goal to increase the average baseline of student knowledge of common mental health concerns on a college campus and in young adults.
The MHA program functions through the support and oversight of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the Campus Y and School of Social Work. Ambassadors are trained in Mental Health First Aid USA, and when available, in QPR and Rethink. Ambassadors serve as trained educators, liaisons to CAPS and coordinators of support networks on campus.
By following a CAPS and School of Social Work mandated training structure, this ambassador program will bring together passionate and service-oriented students on campus. These students will then go on to co-present adapted, professionally made presentations on relevant topics with their ambassador peers, host spaces for discussion on mental health, distribute wellness kits and partner with existing mental health organizations on campus to host awareness and mental health screening events.