I Serve – Profiles

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Cayce Dorrier
APPLES Service-Learning President

Carolina senior Cayce Dorrier has been involved in community service for most of her life. Through APPLES, the chemistry major has participated in the community with everything from Battle Park workdays to Hunger Lunch, and has seen the diversity of needs that exist in our area. Most importantly, her participation with APPLES has taught her how she can continue serving after graduation.

Christina Galardi
APPLES Alternative Breaks Graduate Assistant

As an undergraduate at the University of South Carolina, Christina participated in student leadership roles with the Carolina Service Council student organization and the Office of Community Service Programs that were formative for her personal growth and experience working with community partners. Now, she gives that experience back to the Alternative Break student leadership team through her role as a graduate assistant with the APPLES Service-Learning program. Inspired by her mother, a nurse, and her father, a police officer, she has found her own lifelong pathway to public service through public health and city planning. Following completion of graduate school, she hopes to support strategic community development for access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity.

Austin Gragson
APPLES Service-learning alternative spring break co-leader

Coming from a lower income family, Austin experienced several opportunities supporting and helping him in his path to higher education. Because of the service others provided him growing up, he made a commitment to serve during his time at Carolina. Austin serves alongside his co-leader Ishna Koul for APPLES alternative spring break going to Atlanta this spring. From the calls, emails, meetings, interviews and planning required to plan the trip, the impact has surprised and encouraged him to continue to pay forward the service others showed to him. Through this work, the simple commitment he initially made upon arriving to Carolina has developed into a promise to inspire others through the spring experience.

Abbey Kinnaman
Class of 2017 Economics and Public Policy

Abbey began her service at UNC with the Service Learning Initiative where they explored the theme of education inequality across the state. The topic inspired her to become an ESL tutor for Chapel Hill schools last spring where she learned how to help students overcome language barriers to achieve their academic goals. Abbey has also worked with the Community Empowerment Fund, a non-profit that pairs student advocates with members transitioning out of homelessness. This year she is expanding her desire to help communities across North Carolina by leading an alternative fall break trip to Asheville.

Abbey also participates in service through her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi. They are currently raising $25,000 to donate a new room for the UNC Hospitals Ronald McDonald House, their national philanthropy. Help them reach their goal by registering for the Ronathon 5K on October 8th!

Tremayne Manson
Alumnus and Administrative Services Specialist at the Carolina Center for Public Service

Faith is what motivates Tremayne to serve. Before becoming a Christian he participated in community service, but it wasn’t until Tremayne became a follower of Jesus as an undergraduate at UNC that he truly understood the importance of why he should serve. For inspiration he turns to Acts 20:35, where the Apostle Paul says, “By working hard…we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus…‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Tremayne considers it his responsibility, but also an honor and a privilege, to use the gifts with which God has blessed him to serve his fellow man. He says, “Christ gave His very life for me; the least I can do in response is give of myself for others.”

Shauna Rust & Dinesh McCoy
Campus Y Co-Presidents

Both Shauna and Dinesh were drawn to Campus Y because they felt, as UNC students, a responsibility to engage with their surrounding community. They have since dedicated themselves to service and advocacy in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area and throughout the state of North Carolina. Shauna’s passion is working with local youth in a Spanish immersion program and through hunger alleviation projects with the local nonprofit, TABLE. Dinesh is drawn toward advocacy and activism for wide-ranging social justice issues that affect many North Carolinians. The Campus Y has more than 30 committees focusing on a wide range of issues; all are united by the larger ideal of social justice. Students from Campus Y committees dedicate themselves whole-heartedly to service, advocacy and community engagement. To learn more about how to get involved, visit Campus Y.

Jillian McMahon
APPLES Service-Learning Intern

Jillian’s summer 2014 experience at Community Empowerment Fund (CEF) in Chapel Hill was nothing short of inspiring. As an APPLES Service-Learning intern, Jillian, a senior public policy major from West Palm Beach, Fla., along with other student advocates, worked one-on-one with individuals transitioning out of homelessness. Advocates help with members’ specific goals that range from assisting with employment to searching for housing. CEF also offers various financial support programs that help members create budgets and goals through CEF’s savings program. Jillian found that the magic of CEF is truly in the relationships. By working with people in the community Jillian may not have interacted with otherwise, she learned about local issues in Chapel Hill and realized how to be an active community member in the city she now calls home. Thanks to CEF Jillian met an incredible group of people and had the greatest learning experience of her college career. To learn how to get involved with CEF, visit Community Empowerment Fund.​

Karen Obando
College Adviser, Carolina College Advising Corps

From her sophomore year at UNC up until she graduated, Karen worked with a high school mentee from Siler City through the Scholars’ Latino Initiative (SLI). In working with SLI and helping the mentee with her pathway to college, Karen reflected on her own experience with the college application process as a first-generation, underrepresented student and realized her personal struggles were not unique. The mentorship experience inspired Karen to make resources that promote higher education available to the underrespresented population. While at UNC she also served with other education-focused programs, such as SMART mentorship, an APPLES service-learning course, and an opportunity abroad, where she lead social justice and education workshops at a high school in Lima, Peru. Karen is now serving as a college adviser with the Carolina College Advising Corps because she is optimistic about the impact advising can have on high school students eager to excel.

Radha Patel
APPLES Alternative Fall Break Co-chair

During her first year at Carolina, Radha took a service-learning course as part of her APPLES Alternative Spring Break experience. The opportunity opened her eyes to many factors that impact service, including the different types of service, some possible negative effects of service, and the variety of techniques and mindsets used for more thoughtful and positive service. Radha applies the lessons she’s learned during all her APPLES courses and service opportunities in countless aspects of her life, but particularly in her roles as an Alternative Fall Break Co-chair and a Scholars’ Latino Initiative mentor. Some of Radha’s goals for service at Carolina are to promote social justice on and off campus, to create meaningful service-learning experiences for students, and to inspire her fellow Tar Heels to think critically about their actions and be optimistic about the future.

Brittany Smith
Kappa Kappa Gamma Philanthropy Chair

Brittany Smith and the rest of Kappa Kappa Gamma serve because reading is fundamental. Quite literally, their national philanthropy is Reading is Fundamental, which is the nation’s largest nonprofit children’s literacy program. On April 11, 2015, Kappa Kappa Gamma will be hosting a fun run in partnership with Morehead Planetarium and The Science Expo to benefit Reading is Fundamental.

Janell Smith
Class of 2016 Journalism and Global Studies

Service has been a defining characteristic of Janell’s life. As far as she can remember, Janell has always been involved in some sort of community service whether it was with her home church as a child, the Key Club during high school or the APPLE Service-Learning program throughout college. Influenced by her parents, who taught her that complacency is a vice, Janell serves to create change. She strongly believes that change needs proactive participants. During her college career, Janell has been an actor for social justice through a variety of means. She has served as an ESL tutor and advocate for immigration equality, a school reading partner at Frank Porter Graham for Spanish-speaking students, a counselor and co-chair for the Campus Y Catalyst Conference and a bible study leader for The IMPACT Movement/Campus Crusade for Christ. She has also participated in two APPLES Service-Learning courses and an APPLES alternative spring break, and is a Buckley Public Service Scholar. Janell hopes to continue to spark change, form mutually beneficial relationships, and pay it forward in her future career as a journalist and lawyer.