Levine Scholars Blog

The Newman Civic Fellowship is a yearlong program that recognizes students who stand out for their leadership potential and commitment to creating positive change in communities.

As I left finalist weekend, I told my dad one reason I wanted to get the Levine scholarship so badly was just so I could go on NOLS. My NOLS experience and the path it set me on has been a highlight of my time at UNC Charlotte.

As I write this, I’m riding in a van that best resembles the Mystery Machine, driving across Uganda to catch my flight back home. The last 13 days here in my fourth year at UNC dental school have been more life-changing and impactful than I ever could have anticipated—and in a lot of ways I have LSP to thank for it.

For my nonprofit summer of 2023, I interned at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, formerly known as the Afro-American Cultural Center.

I figured it was a long shot when I applied to intern with Congresswoman Alma Adams’ office here in Charlotte, NC. Surely, this honorable and famous politician wouldn’t bother to look twice at a random college student looking for experience. Thankfully, I was wrong!

“I didn’t know you could sew” is normally the first thing someone says when they find out I work at the UNC Charlotte Costume Shop. Sewing is a deviation from what people know about me on paper, so I understand people’s surprise. On paper, my interests include political science, economics, sociology, and Mandarin Chinese.

Levine Alumni Megan Lemon ‘18 and Julia Nelson ‘20 hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2023 and 2021 respectively. Throughout their hikes, they received countless questions ranging from the simple “What do you eat?” to the more abstract and hard hitting “Why are you doing this? Did you ever want to quit?”

After (finally) finishing the onboarding requirements from the Office of Education Abroad and completing my 200-hour non-profit internship with the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte, I sat at dinner in my hometown of Winston-Salem, North Carolina with a friend and it finally hit me … I have to sit on a plane for 15 hours to get to South Africa.

The pursuit of the seemingly impossible starts with an eager mind and a willing leader. As I reflect over the opportunities I have sought and received in the nine years since graduating from UNC Charlotte, I am grateful.

On April 16th, I along with fellow scholar Karsyn Koon ‘24 and the LSP Staff’s University Program Associate Tonderai Mushipe were inducted into the honors society of Phi Kappa Phi’s UNC Charlotte chapter.

Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl blasted through the speakers of my car as I turned onto North Tryon for another day working at Charlotte Center City Partners. I’ve always been a bit of a city girl; I love giving my friends amateur walking tours of the city riddled with fun facts about the history of Charlotte.

Throughout the years, my style and intensity of running has changed a lot. And if you had asked me what type of runner I was, my answer would have changed many times too.