UNC-Pembroke AmeriCorps VISTA Develops New Tool to Fight Hunger in Southeastern NC


The Office for Community & Civic Engagement (CCE) at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke engages students to inspire responsible citizenship through programs, trainings, and structured volunteer opportunities. North Carolina Campus Compact is a coalition of college and university presidents aiming to increase campus-wide participation in community and public service to enhance students’ sense of responsibility, citizenship, and leadership, while reinvigorating higher education’s concern for improving the quality of life in our society. NC Campus Compact places AmeriCorps VISTAs (Volunteers in Service to America) at each of its 36 college and university partners. The federal government enables each VISTA to volunteer full-time in their community to combat poverty and develop sustainable programs in the local community.

Over the past few years, North Carolina Campus Compact’s Statewide Challenge to End Hunger has worked with campuses and communities to alleviate food insecurity. In November 2011, a 36-question survey booklet was disturbed at the first annual regional conference of Second Harvest Food Bank in Fayetteville. The survey was developed by enhancing previous VISTA work concerning food insecurity and reviewing the goals/outcomes sought by both CCE and North Carolina Campus Compact. The end results were analyzed and placed into a searchable interactive map.

This website is the first demonstration of the impact our campuses make when pursuing a common goal. The project was developed and managed by Melvin McDermott III, MPA (2011-2012 AmeriCorps VISTA).



For more information, please contact cce@uncp.edu or call 910-521-6163.


Loving to Serve Week

By: Ashley Lowery

The week of February 13-17, 2012, was a week of loving. Not only was Valentines on February 14 it was also a week that the Office of Community & Civic Engagement showed others how to love through community service.

They encouraged others to show their love of community service through various opportunities such as a clothes and personal item donation throughout the whole week that would be donated the Pembroke Housing Authority clothing bank. Making of safe sex kits and group therapy talk was hosted by two student groups called ACE and AWARE in the UC Annex on Thursday. Distributing of the safe sex kits was on Friday throughout the local housing areas such as Strickland Heights, Maynor Mayor, Chavis Park, & Locklear’s Court. A group of students went out into these areas and passed out the safe sex kits. The whole week was successful and a lot of good deeds were performed. You can still donate for the clothes and personal item donation and still look out for more events to come.

For more information, email Ashley Lowery at anl016@bravemail.uncp.edu

Children’s Reading Party!!! February 27, 2012 – UC Annex

By: Dalton Hoffer, CCE Student Employee

I know some NEW tricks, and some games we can play!

The Office for Community and Civic Engagement have made Reading Parties an ongoing project since 2009 to enhance literacy in Robeson County.

Come read with kids for Dr.Seuss’ BIRTHDAY!  February 27, 2012, from 10a.m. to 1p.m.,

Over sixty 3rd graders from Rex Rennert Elementary School will be on campus in the UC Annex to read with UNC-Pembroke students for Dr. Seuss’ Birthday Reading Party.  The event is lead by Dalton Hoffer who is a Student Service Leader for Literacy and Education.

If you would like to volunteer for this event all you need to do is RSVP on orgsync.com or email djh012@bravemail.uncp.edu.

We would like to give a shout out to DOMINOS PIZZA here in Pembroke for donating lunch to all of our elementary students for this event!

CCE Launches Youth Mentoring Program at Pembroke Housing Authority

By: Ashley Lowery, Shelby Newsome & Dalton Hoffer, CCE Student Employees


The Office for Community & Civic Engagement is partnering up with the Pembroke Housing Authority to provide a mentoring program call “Teen Life”. This program allows mentors from UNC-Pembroke to work with at-risk teens who live in the public housing. The Teen Life program allows teens with different issues the chance to work with college students so they can better face challenges on a daily basis. The program aims focus on 6th-12th graders.

The program is every Tuesday and Thursday from 4pm to 5:30pm.

The kick off took place on Janurary 30 and was held at the Strickland Heights Center There were 20 mentors and 15 teens present. Food and games took place to bring together the mentors and teens. So far, the teens have been learning about different issues such as effective communication, healthy relationships, and bullying. The teens are enjoying the program so far and the mentors are excited about being a part of this life changing experience.

All mentors went through training by Christie Poteet, Director of Service-Learning for CCE, focused on confidentiality, motivation of the teens, as well as policy and procedures of the Housing Authority.

Volunteers are encouraged to apply on Orgsync.com, or stop by the CCE office to become a mentor for Teen Life. 

Shelby Newsome says “Teen Life is simply for teenagers here in Robeson County to have a positive role model and a close friend, which is much needed.”

Final MLK Service Challenge 2012 Recap (Pictures, Videos & Interviews)

MLK Day – Inspiring Student Reflections! Bringing it all together….

The Office for Community and Civic Engagement asked volunteers to think about the service they had just provided on MLK Day. Then we asked a simple question: “Now What?” The information was compiled and a word cloud was created emphasizing the most repeated words. Can you see what’s happening?

Below are some comments of what MLK Service Challenge Volunteers had to say:
– “I would like to get involved more. I have been an extremely blessed and privileged individual, and it would be selfish not to continue giving back in this way. If I can find time, I would like to volunteer more. I think we should give back even if it’s slightly uncomfortable at times. That is the least we should do.” (Conor Josleyn, Sophomore)

– “Civic Engagement means taking the initiative to go out and get to know the community and better understand your surroundings. It is good to think about engagement and look for new ways of being involved, and helping more people/places in the community.” (Victoria Dancy, Junior)

– “Civic Engagement means it is our duty as citizens of our community to become immersed in our environment and give back. It means that we should get involved. We speak of change, but change is an action word, and it takes all of us working together to make it happen. Now I feel like it is my responsibility to take care of my community. No more complaining. It is time to roll up my sleeves and get to work.” (Alisha Alston, Senior)

What did UNC-Pembroke get done on MLK Day? What we accomplish?

The Office for Community and Civic Engagement asked volunteers to tell us what they did, what they saw, and what they heard. Once the information was compiled, we created a word cloud which emphasizes the most repeated words. Check it out. Below the picture, you will see the accomplishments that came from about 755 hours of combined service. I promise, it is impressive!

– 1 Candle Light Vigil with 200 guests on 1/11/12; Rev. Aaron Johnson was the keynote speaker for the event.
– 1 video presentation about MLK and a reflection on what we need to do today to educate youth about who he was and what he stood for; Maxton Commissioner James McDougald was the keynote speaker for the event.
– College students spoke with at least 40 K-12 students about their journey into college.
– 1 powerpoint presentation to 11 youth about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
– Completed several arts/craft projects with community youth concerning “what is community”.
– Wrote 26 letters to military families through the onemillionthanks.org program.
– 30 college students simulated a day in the live of poverty through a “Food Challenge” where groups were given $2 per volunteer to go grocery shopping together for their lunch
– 4500 square foot wall painted at a local Boys & Girls Club.
– Several low income neighborhoods beautified and landscaped.
– College students played several games of wheel chair volleyball with senior citizen residents at a retirement home.
– Several senior citizens got their cars washed.
– The Lumbee River bank and surrounding area was cleaned up.
– 1 animal shelter was beautified and cleaned up; Helped over 300 of their animals get walked, cleaned up, and needed individual attention.
– 200 pairs of shoes were matched at a Community Center that receives donated items; several bins of clothing were folded up and setup for display.
– 15 school buses were washed.
– 1 local high school campus was beautified through trash pickup.

Now, what did volunteers learn? Check out our next post about student reflections!