Open letter to UNC students

The Daily Tarheel ran a pretty good article on Wednesday about student involvement (or lack thereof) in town issues. In 1991, I got appointed to the Chapel Hill Transportation Board and I helped get a fellow undergrad, Mark Chilton, get elected to the Town Council. Ever since, I have been advocating for a greater student voice in local politics. There can be no doubt that students are impacted by town policies (transit, sidewalks, housing, downtown businesses, University development, just to start.).

But many people forget how very much students have to offer the rest of the town. Students created what would later become the municipal bus system in in the 1970's. Students have brought many important social causes to the community's attention, from apartheid and sweatshops far way, to housekeepers and cafeteria workers and the civil rights movement here at home.

Be a mentor

Guest Post by Jane Peppler
Cross-posted at Pratie Place

For twenty-two years I've been a mom, but my younger child will graduate this spring and the house will get mighty quiet. Hmm, choices. I could become a pet nut, replacing teenage music with barking, chirping, or mewing. But I'd rather keep young energy in my life. That's why I took the daunting job of directing a high school chorus, and that's why I joined the Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate Program.

A mentoring program pairs you with a kid who lives in disadvantaged circumstances but has a "spark" and can flourish with some extra help. We're not just friends (Big Buddies or Big Brothers) and not just tutors. We're also advocates for our kids in the school system. By having fun, talking about life, going places they (or we) have never been before, we try to inspire them to keep their eyes on the prize - for instance, on enjoying and staying invested in school through high school and then hopefully going to college.



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