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2020 Award Recipients

Undergraduate Excellence Award – Bethann Mwombela

“While working with us, Bethann became invaluable to the work we do at the Life Center in Durham. She was very hands-on with our students and dedicated to ensuring that all of their needs were met. After graduation, she continued to work with us during the summer and fall. The children grew to love and respect her. She left an indelible mark on our summer lunch program and our after-school program. She has continued her generous community work through a nonprofit in the DC area, and still lends a hand at the Life Center when she can.”

     -Yoni Newkirk-McKoy, community partner at Life Center, Durham

Community Partner Excellence Award – Girls on the Run of the Triangle

“Girls on the Run is an incredible organization that has come to speak with numerous Alternative Spring Break classes about the work that they do in the community. They work to empower young girls through lessons focusing on building friendship and self-esteem all while running or walking. I am currently coaching with GOTR for the first time ,and I am so excited to see how the program impacts youth, as well as how I can take some of these lessons and teach them to children I work with in other capacities.”

     -Kaila Umstead, co-chair of alternative winter break 2019-2020

Teaching Excellence Award – Gary Bishop

“Dr. Gary Bishop regularly teaches an APPLES Service-Learning course entitled Enabling Technologies. In this course, he teaches students at UNC-Chapel Hill how to utilize their growing technical skills to support and benefit individuals in the community who experience physical and mental disabilities. He is known throughout the department and community for his consistent and endless dedication to young people who experience and live with physical and developmental disabilities, and I am very inspired by his work.”

     -Izzi Hinks, co-chair of service-learning courses 2019-2020

Outstanding Alumni Award – April Warren

While in college, Warren began working as a teacher at Student U, a Durham organization that provides a pipeline of resources for students. She remained connected with the organization after her graduation in 2013, and she now works at Student U full-time as the middle school program coordinator. Warren leads Student U’s efforts to ensure equitable access to education for Durham students. Many APPLES students have followed April’s footsteps by engaging in service-learning partnerships with Student U.

Service-Learning Award in honor of Ned Brooks – Marian Cheek Jackson Center

“Working with the Jackson Center and Heavenly Groceries has broadened not only my perspective on Chapel Hill, but my role as a public servant. As a leader in APPLES, I’ve reflected with many different students from various backgrounds who have praised the work that the Jackson Center does and the positive role that the Center plays in our local community by educating students and celebrating the historically black Northside neighborhood.”

     -Nicole Cervi, APPLES president 2019-2020


Email with any questions about the APPLES Awards.