Previous Fellows Profiles

Taylor Molina

Taylor Molina of Edgewater, New Jersey graduated from Leonia High School, where she was president of the National Honors Society, was a Student Representative on the Leonia Board of Education, and was a member of the Rho Kappa Social Studies Honor Society. Taylor received the Becky Kleinman Award athletic award character. Taylor received the Morehead-Cain Scholarship to attend UNC and has been admitted to UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and will be a participant in Honors Carolina.

During her gap year, Taylor travelled to Chaltura, Ecuador through Global Citizen Year. Taylor volunteered at an Unidad Educativa, a small, public school. Taylor co-taught English with an English teacher from Ecuador who had been working in the school. She worked with students in second to seventh grades and those in their last year of high school. Taylor was in the classroom grading, co-teaching, answering questions, and making worksheets. She worked and lived in […]

Simone McFarlane

Simone McFarlane of Concord, NC graduated from Concord High School. There, she was active in Spanish National Honor Society, Amnesty International, and Service Club.

During her gap year, Simone spent three months in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where she partnered with Centro para Los Adolescentes de San Miguel de Allende (CASA). At CASA she worked with their community health clinic and ELEGIR program to develop campaigns related to sexual health and eliminating gender violence in local communities. Afterwards, she spent the next three months in Barranquilla, Colombia at a school with a large Afro-Colombian community. As an English teacher, she led classes, assisted other classes, and developed curriculum centered on Afro-Colombian history.

She plans to major in Global Studies and Public Policy at UNC.

Read Simone’s blog posts here:

Pre-Departure: Such A Chidi

Childlike Wonder in Mexico

The Power of Perception

Unpacking Mexico

My First Carnaval

Sarah Duncan

Sarah Duncan of Raleigh graduated from Smithfield-Selma High School, where she was Vice Chair of the National Honors Society and the Raleigh Youth Council. She served as the Captain of both the JV/Varsity track team and the Varsity cross country team.

During her gap year, Sarah spent three months in Seoul, South Korea working with Justice for North Korea to raise awareness of North Korean refugees as well as the North Korean human rights crisis. She helped organize street campaigns, made posters/flyers, and wrote articles based on people in North Korea. Afterwards, she travelled to Barranquilla, Colombia where she taught English at a school in a largely Afro-Colombian and indigenous community. She volunteered with her fellow cohort-member, Simone, there.

Sarah plans to study at UNC’s School of Media and Journalism.

Read Sarah’s blog posts here:

Pre-Departure: Start Somewhere and See the World

On the Road to Seoul

A Digital Girl Discovering a ~Not […]

Sadie Jane Allen

Sadie Jane Allen of Saluda graduated from Polk County High School, where she was a member of the Saluda Teen Advisory Group and Marketing Committee. Sadie received the Margaret L. Forbes Distinguished Scholar Award, the Saluda Women Award, the Aos Club Scholarship and the Newton Academy Forster/Stevens Award. Sadie is a Tar Heel Merit Scholar and has been admitted into Honors Carolina.

During her gap year, Sadie volunteered in Weinan, China and Split, Croatia. In Weinan, Sadie taught English primarily to elementary aged children and loved incorporating fun games into her lessons. When she was not teaching, Sadie enjoyed exploring Weinan and Xi’an, trying different dishes, and even learning Chinese-style flower painting from friends. Afterwards, she helped local Croatian nonprofits with marketing and creative technologies. She worked with Green Sail, a nonprofit focused on improving sustainability in the nautical industry, and Bestie Split, a local no-kill animal shelter. […]

Nya Patton

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 […]

Matthew Lu

Matthew Lu of Edmonton, Alberta, graduated from Old Scona Academic High School, where he was captain of his high school’s Reach for the Top (an academic quiz competition) team, and was a member of the badminton and track teams. He received the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award and First Class Honors.

During his gap year, Matthew’s first placement was with an organization in Shenzhen, China called SZLNKX. SZLNKX serves the elderly by helping them get into events and recruiting retired professionals to volunteer their skills with impoverished rural villages. Matthew mainly worked in the secretarial office helping organize and supervise events. Matthew then volunteered with Jiangmen Foreign Language School in Xinhui, China where he was a teaching assistant to a foreign language teacher. He was tasked with assisting the head teachers through translations. Matthew’s final placement was in Cape Town, South Africa where he worked with the Red Cross […]

Karen Xu

Karen Xu of Cary just completed her sophomore year at UNC, where she is pursuing a dual degree in Health Policy & Management and Global Studies. Karen is a 2017 graduate of Raleigh Charter High School, where she was a National Merit Scholarship Finalist and a member of the Spanish Honor Society. At UNC, Karen is active in the UNC Wordsmiths, UNC Cypher and the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team.

During her bridge year, Karen furthered her interest in public health through volunteering at the Office of Binational Border Health (OBBH) within the California Department of Public Health. During this experience, she worked on infectious disease surveillance projects to help promote public health in the US-Mexico border region. As part of the Global Zero TB Initiative, she helped work on a join project between the OBBH and Advances Access & Delivery (AA&D), a global health non-profit, to combat tuberculosis in […]

Jennifer Kang

Jennifer Kang of Charlotte graduated from Providence High School where she was president of Model United Nation team, served in class council, volunteered as a technology tutor, and received the Junior Marshall Award. At UNC, Jennifer plans to double major in Computer Science (B.S) and Spanish Linguistic.

During her gap year, she travelled to Imbabura region, Ecuador through Global Citizen Year(GCY). There she stayed with a traditional Kichwa family in Cotacachi volunteering at Kichwa Radio Ilumán and Magazine Wiñay Kawsay. She wrote independent articles about other fellows’ experience and conducted a research(comprised of interviews and poll) about people’s perception of abortion and Ecuador’s abortion law and history. She created Shuk Llaktamanta Mashikuna podcast with another fellow exploring Kichwa culture and tradition by interviewing professionals and members of the community. The podcasts were aired in Radio Ilumán early months of 2020.

Read Jennifer’s blog posts here:

Pre-Departure: The Beginning 

Part of me […]