Community Service Scholarships

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My participation in the MacDonald Community Service Scholar’s program exposed me to a wide array of public service opportunities I never knew existed, pushed me to continuously involve myself in surrounding communities and try new things. I cannot imagine any other opportunity that would have allowed me to grow in the manner I did throughout my three years in this program.

– Hanan Alazzam ‘19

Community service scholarships are offered to a select group of service-oriented UNC-Chapel Hill students to support higher education costs for their remaining time at UNC and enable them to increase their commitment, knowledge and skills related to community service. Through the scholarship, students receive training, mentorship and support in pursuing their particular public service interests.

Scholars receive a $5,000 annual scholarship (renewable for up to three years) and participate in the Buckley Public Service Scholars program, providing them with the opportunities and structure to build service portfolios and develop skills related to community service. Scholars are expected to engage in an average of at least 250 hours of service each year during their time in the program, which can include summer service internships. In order to develop leadership skills and build community within their cohort, scholars also participate in a 4-day North Carolina Outward Bound School leadership course during their first year in the program. Scholars meet with Carolina Center for Public Service (CCPS) staff throughout their experience to provide planning support, reflection and connection to additional opportunities for service and engagement.MacDonald Fellows and Scott MacDonald

MacDonald Community Fellowship

During their third year, scholars expand their engagement through participation in the MacDonald Community Fellowship program, where they work with a community partner to identify a signature public service project to be completed by the time they graduate. Through this fellowship, students participate in specialized training to develop their plans and receive funds to implement their project.


Community Service Scholarships are designed for undergraduate students who demonstrate a clear commitment to service in their time at Carolina, which is generally documented through their Buckley Public Service Scholar portfolio. Interested students who are not yet part of the Buckley Public Service Scholars program may document their service in other ways.

The availability of new Community Service Scholarships changes each year based on funding, and each Community Service Scholarship may have slightly different priorities or eligibility requirements. In collaboration with the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid, CCPS will advertise the specifics of each opportunity during the application period in the spring semester before the year that the scholarship would start.

For the spring 2019 application cycle, CCPS is able to offer scholarships to students who will be entering academic year 2019-2020 as second-year or third-year students. Applications are open from April 10 – 24, 2019. Apply online through the CCPS Application and Nomination Portal.

The financial part of the scholarship is distributed through the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid as part of students’ financial aid package. The Office of Scholarships and Student Aid may use this funding to replace loans or work-study funds and occasionally other grants or scholarships. The scholarship is not able to be used for summer school expenses.

History of the scholarships

Community Service Scholarships are made possible by the generous support of donors. In 2015, Scott MacDonald ’72 M.R.P. endowed the Scott D. MacDonald Community Service Scholarships to provide monetary support enabling students to work with faculty and staff to identify and implement a signature, experience-based public service project. Since MacDonald’s initial support, similar scholarship funds have been established. In 2017, Donald Ubell ’67 created the Ubell Community Service Scholarship. The Fisher Family Community Service Scholarship in 2018.

Current and previous students who have received scholarships:

  • Class of 2021:
    • Ariel Bryant of Burgaw, North Carolina – MacDonald Scholar
    • Tori Dunlap of Mount Holly, North Carolina – Ubell Scholar
    • Summer Hyland of Winston-Salem, North Carolina – Fisher Family Scholar
    • Dillon Rubalcava of Jamestown, North Carolina – MacDonald Scholar
  • Class of 2020:
    • Nicholas Guariglia of West Palm Beach, Florida – MacDonald Scholar
    • Jessica Thompson of Ft. Bragg, North Carolina – MacDonald Scholar
  • Class of 2019:
    • Hanan Alazzam of Asheboro, North Carolina – MacDonald Scholar
    • Anish Bhatia of New Hyde Park, New York – MacDonald Scholar
    • Maximiliano Flores-Palacios of Gastonia, North Carolina – MacDonald Scholar
    • Emma Hughson of Colerain, North Carolina – MacDonald Scholar
    • Finn Loendorf of Stanley, North Carolina – MacDonald Scholar
    • John Roberson of Durham, North Carolina – MacDonald Scholar


For programmatic questions regarding the scholarship or fellowship, contact Ryan Nilsen.

To learn more about creating a community service scholarship, contact Tricia Daisley or call 919-843-7568.