Four years ago, alumnus Scott Douglas MacDonald ’72 (M.R.P.) decided to support undergraduate students by endowing a scholarship for those committed to public service.
MacDonald Community Service Scholars receive a $5,000 annual scholarship, offered through the Buckley Public Service Scholars program. The program provides them with opportunities and structure to build service portfolios and develop skills related to community service. During their third year, scholars also participate in the MacDonald Community Fellowship program, where they work with a community partner to identify a signature public service project to be completed by the time they graduate.
“My participation in the MacDonald Community Service Scholars program exposed me to a wide array of public service opportunities I never knew existed, pushed me to continuously involve myself in surrounding communities and try new things,” said Hanan Alazzam ‘19, one of the very first scholars.
This May, the first class of MacDonald Community Service Scholars will be graduating, leaving behind a legacy of an inspired generation and platforms for community support. They are: Finn Loendorf of Stanley, North Carolina; John Roberson of Durham, North Carolina; Hanan Alazzam of Asheboro, North Carolina; Emma Hughson of Colerain, North Carolina; and Anish Bhatia of New Hyde Park, New York.
“These students receive help and, in return, provide help,” MacDonald said. “It is a simple concept that could potentially change the way aid is funded and how communities are supported.”
Loendorf (they, their, them) saw their love of science and working with youth converge when they realized a need for STEM exposure among the underserved youth in the Chapel Hill area. For their MacDonald Community Fellowship project, Loendorf implemented a week-long program, Full STEAM Ahead, that involved coding activities, science experiments and literary arts. The students ended the week-long camp with a renewed excitement for learning and an even stronger support system.
“Helping others is just the right thing to do. It’s everyone’s responsibility to do what they can to make the world a better place,” Loendorf said.
“This is just the beginning, and I salute UNC-Chapel Hill for leading the way,” MacDonald said. “Students will learn as well as give, preparing them to leave Carolina committed and equipped to continue working for the betterment of society. I hope other donors will follow by creating their own community service scholarships at Carolina.”
The MacDonald Community Service Scholarship was made possible by a gift from Scott MacDonald to allows students the support to work with faculty and staff to identify and implement a signature, experience-based public service project.