Seagraves Grants Fund 10 Student Service Projects

From salvaging sweet potatoes left after the harvest to using puppets to teach dental health, students at Carolina have created a range of service projects with the help of Seagraves Service Grants.

The Carolina Center for Public Service recently presented the grants to 10 student organizations to support public service projects addressing identifiable needs statewide.

The grants are funded through the support of a UNC alumnus in honor of his grandmother, Mildred Yeager Seagraves. Now in its third year, the $15,000 program will continue for the next two years.

The Carolina Center for Public Service received proposals from officially recognized UNC student organizations. Grantees receive up to $300 to fund their proposed service projects during 2006-07.

This year’s recipients include:

  • Senior Prom: The Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity in November partnered with Shepherd House, an assisted-living facility in Chapel Hill, to host a senior prom. The project was designed to create a connection between Shepherd House residents and the community.
  • Best Buddies: The Carolina chapter of Best Buddies will organize a trip to the Exploris Museum in Raleigh to give buddies a chance to expand their horizons and learn about new cultures. Best Buddies pairs college students with mentally disabled adults to provide friendships and learning experiences.
  • Fun in the Garden: The UNC Circle K service organization will work with students in Boomerang, a Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA mentoring program, to create a garden that requires year-round maintenance. The garden will provide a focal point for activities in science, agriculture, aesthetics, responsibility and respect.
  • Life stories: The UNC Circle K service organization will interview residents at Brookshire Nursing Center in Hillsborough to chronicle their lives in a life story book. The books will provide nursing assistants with an aid for learning about the residents and will ensure that the facility focuses on person-centered care.
  • Healthy teeth and puppets: Delta Delta Sigma, a pre-dental undergraduate student organization, will purchase three oral hygiene puppets for use at health fairs, elementary schools and free clinics. The group works with the UNC School of Dentistry to educate the community about the importance of good oral hygiene.
  • Housing advocacy: Students from the Heels on Housing advocacy group will attend a training session conducted by the Center for Responsible Lending to learn how to access online court records and gather other useful data. Following the training, students will mail information pamphlets to borrowers in Durham and Orange counties who are approaching foreclosure. Heels on Housing is a student organization in the UNC School of Law that addresses housing issues in the local community.
  • Hmong college fair: The Hmong Student Association of Carolina in November organized a college fair for families in Burke and Catawba counties. The group addressed limited access to higher education in the Hmong community because of linguistic challenges, socio-economic status and lack of knowledge about the educational system.
  • Immigration issues: Partnering with the Mariam Clinic in Raleigh, the Muslim Students Association will coordinate a family fair to educate immigrant populations throughout Durham and Wake counties about the resources available to them in the Triangle. The Mariam Clinic promotes the health and well-being of all women and their families by providing accessible, quality health care and support services in an environment that respects the faith and dignity of each individual.
  • A day into medicine: Members of the Native Health Initiative, a student advocacy group, will teach American Indian high-school students about health careers through a program titled “A Day into Medicine.” The Native Health Initiative aims to use the intellectual, financial and human capital resources of the UNC community to improve the poor health status of American Indians in North Carolina.
  • Sweet potato round-up: Members of the UNC Wesley Foundation, along with the Society of St. Andrew in Durham, in November salvaged left-over sweet potatoes from area farms and donated them to the Interfaith Council homeless shelter and other local food pantries. When sweet potatoes are harvested, a substantial amount of food is left behind in the fields. Participants in the ongoing project learn about sustainability and the agriculture of North Carolina while aiding hunger relief efforts in Chapel Hill.

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