UNC 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 UNC 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, we present to citizens relevant information on issues that impact their lives in an easily-digestible, personalized format. We 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. We 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 here 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. We 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 as 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.
Carolina Swim Clinic offers a safe, comfortable environment where children from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community can learn how to swim. Specifically, Carolina Swim Clinic provides free swim lessons to children from Spanish-speaking families who would not otherwise be able to afford swim lessons. Additionally, Carolina Swim Clinic offers free English tutoring to Spanish-speaking parents during lessons. Tutoring is provided through collaboration with the Carolina Language Partnership. Carolina Swim Clinic will teach basic life-long and life-saving swimming skills to the children it serves, empower their families and foster a sense of community.
Feelin’ DNA makes science curriculums more accessible to visually impaired student by designing appropriate learning materials for their needs. The tool being developed is a DNA model that will feature six interlocking structural DNA components, each labeled with Braille identifiers and vibrant colors. This model will teach students the shape and structure of DNA, and provide a basis for understanding the DNA replication process, which is essential to in-depth biological studies. Through collaboration with UNC Biomedical Engineering Department, Durham Public Schools and the Governor Morehead School, Feelin’ DNA will reach as many visually impaired students as possible and share with their teachers new ways to engage them in science curriculum. Learn more about Feelin DNA’s work reimagining science education for visually impaired students in the University Gazette.
Growing Gardeners provides opportunities for residents of Northside and Pine Knolls neighborhoods to garden for low start-up costs. The student-run group builds ready-to-grow container gardens at Northside Elementary School for nearby households and organizations. Growing Gardeners supports community members for a variety of gardening benefits, including self-efficacy, food security and horticulture knowledge preservation. Growing Gardeners encourages new and existing gardeners and strengthens community around food cultivation.
Daniel Adamkiewicz ’18
Divya Agarwal ’19
James Creissen ’19
The HARC Collective increases community accessibility to art while providing student and local artists an avenue to display their works. HARC focuses on the fine arts providing students a place to submit and showcase their pieces. HARC will host pop-up galleries and similar events that touch on the ephemeral natural of art experiences while allowing artists to reap the fruit of their labor. Ultimately, this project can provide student-artists valuable business experience, the tools for further expression and the ability to engage the broader Chapel Hill community with the work of artists at UNC.
JamRides is an application-based platform that connects tourists to certified, independent taxi drivers in Jamaica. JamRides seeks to provide a platform in which certified drivers have fair access to tourists, removing the middle man and enhancing local economies. The platform will allow tourists to book independent drivers without the inflated costs of established resorts or foreign companies, resulting in tourist income channeled directly to the people of Jamaica and their social entrepreneurial endeavors. In addition, by reducing high-cost middle men, tourist transportation costs can become more affordable.
The Superhero Project teaches children to see creativity as a force to change the world. Through the project, children work one-on-one with professional comic book artists and art students to create their own superheroes, villains and comic book stories. Artists then transform these creations into inspired comic book wonders. The Superhero Project teaches children that creativity, courage and kindness will change the world.