2012 APPLES Award Recipients
By Nicole Beatty '15
UNC students, faculty, alumni and community partners connected to APPLES have shown their passion to help their community in many ways. Through internships, alternative breaks and service-learning courses, they have all worked to support service-learning at UNC. In appreciation, APPLES recently hosted its annual awards brunch to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to service-learning with APPLES.
This year’s award recipients were chosen for their work with service-learning and the community in meaningful ways. Recognized this year were Maggie Peng ‘12, Tiffany Washington ‘00, Jatin Desai ‘05, The Arc of Orange County and Episcopal Farmworker Ministry.
Maggie Peng, a senior studying health policy and management in the School of Public Health, received the Undergraduate Excellence Award for her work with Musical Empowerment and Carolina Music Outreach. Peng said, “This award is so special to me. Playing piano almost all my life, I had a great passion for music coming into college, and I knew that I somehow wanted to fit that into the way I spent my four years giving back to the community.” Peng combined her love of music and working with others by serving with the Carolina Music Outreach, a student organization that pairs UNC students with local school children to tutor music. Along with other volunteers, Maggie created Musical Empowerment, an initiative that provides students who are in need of instruments a means to borrow one at no cost. Peng added, “Seeing their improvement first hand at our winter and spring recitals shows how we can touch those so close to campus.” Musical Empowerment was competitively selected this year as one of the Campus Y’s four inaugural Social Innovation Incubator projects.
Tiffany Washington, a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Social Work, received the Teaching Excellence Award for instructing the APPLES spring internship course and introducing students to concepts of civic engagement, social change and the role of nonprofits in our community. Washington also developed the summer internship course for APPLES summer interns, enriching the summer internship experience through student engagement and a rigorous academic experience. Washington said, “As a doctoral student, receiving this award is very validating. APPLES gave me my first opportunity to teach, and I committed myself to providing the students with the best possible service-learning experience.”
The Arc of Orange County, an APPLES partner since 2003, received the Community Partner Excellence Award in celebration of its dedication to providing a true learning experience for volunteers and interns. Participating with different courses, the efforts of The Arc has impacted students from social work, sociology, Spanish, psychology and more. Through this award, APPLES celebrates The Arc’s staff who have created such significant service-learning experiences.
Episcopal Farmworker Ministry (EFM) received the Community Partner Excellence Award in recognition for building community through service and its commitment to improving the quality of life of seasonal and migrant farmworkers. EFM has engaged in a sustained partnership with APPLES alternative break programs for several years, enriching the education and experience of hundreds of Carolina students, while making a substantial impact on the lives of farmworkers and their families.
Jatin Desai ’05, former APPLES treasurer, is the first recipient of the new Outstanding Alumni Award. After graduation, Jatin Desai was inspired to give back to APPLES, the organization that encouraged him and so many others. The travel scholarship he established has supported more than a dozen students, helping them participate in global service-learning. APPLES is honored to have Jatin as the inaugural recipient of this award.
Reflecting on their recognition, each recipient expressed plans to continue their public service efforts. Peng commented, “With the help APPLES has given me and Carolina Music Outreach over the years, I hope that the children in the local community have felt and will continue to feel the impact of our program.”
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Carolina Music Outreach executive board members Katie Weinel ‘13, Maggie Peng ‘12, Kaitlyn Hamlett
‘14, Katie Hill ‘13 and Meredith
Jatin Desai chats with Leslie Parkins after receiving the APPLES
Outstanding Alumni Award.
Tiffany Washington with her spring
2011 service-learning class after their final presentations.