Project Description

Nya Patton of Durham graduated from City of Medicine Academy, where she was involved in HOSA: Future Health Professionals, Made in Durham and the National Honors Society. Nya has received the Johnston Scholarship to attend UNC and has been accepted into Honors Carolina.

During her gap year, Nya’s first placement was in Brazil with Iracambi. Iracambi is an organization responsible for reforestation work within the Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil. Her daily tasks included taking care of, weeding, and watering thousands of trees. On her last week of service in Brazil, she and her team went out and planted most of those trees within a handful of farmers properties to allow them to experiment with agroforestry and create purpose for their excess land. For her next placement, Nya worked with an organization called Jigsaw. Jigsaw provided mental health services to children and families within the North Belfast area in Northern Ireland. Her duties varied significantly–from administrative work and data entry to working inside a local school where she helped teachers. Through this role, she became a mentor to many of the children who were also in therapy sessions with Jigsaw.

Nya plans to major in Business and Public Policy at UNC.

Read Nya’s blog posts here:

Pre-Departure: Leaning into Fear 

Giving Yourself A Week

How to fill your time when you’re not volunteering 

Engaging with Local Kids!

Moving in With a Host Family

Irish Pub Culture

How My Gap Year Has Changed Me