Dear Carolina Community,
On Monday evening, I got to spend some time with advocates and nonprofit leaders from all over North Carolina who are working to get disconnected young people back into school or on track for good careers. Across our state, tens of thousands of people aren’t working or pursuing a degree, unsure of their next step but eager for new opportunities. From banking executives to librarians, from construction managers to small business owners, leaders in towns and cities across our state are working to give those opportunities to young people in their communities.
Carolina Across 100’s Our State, Our Work initiative is helping to tackle that challenge by bringing together local leaders, state agencies, and nonprofit groups that focus on youth unemployment, providing a space to share ideas and tap University resources. We know from decades of research that a promising job is crucial not just for the income it brings, but for the stability and purpose and social connections that it offers. Meaningful work is one of the key ingredients for a satisfying life.
We do all kinds of things to boost the career aspirations of our students, from launching a new curriculum with a focus on valuable skills to creating opportunities for alumni networking and internships. We are developing initiatives that provide funding for summer internships, research, service and global-learning opportunities for low-income students at Carolina. And each day, our faculty and staff are working to train the next generation of leaders, preparing them to think critically, ask difficult questions and challenge the status quo.
But as a public university, our obligation is bigger than just our own graduates. Not everyone can study at a place like this, and there can’t be just one promising pathway to success. We are focused on building those pathways not just for our students, but for people across our state. It was heartening to see so many dedicated people gathered in Chapel Hill on Monday to make sure more North Carolinians have the chance to learn and thrive. I hope you find time this weekend and on Monday’s well-being day to restore energy and prepare for a full and exciting October on campus.
Kevin M. Guskiewicz