SI@UNC: A legacy of social innovation for social good at the country’s first public university.

Impact Stories

Baristas and builders podcast: Inspired by the idea that UNC faculty and students should have a way of spending money on campus that goes directly back to the campus, co-founders Lauren Eaves and Scott Diekema share insights into creating, launching and running Meantime Coffee Co,, a popular, campus coffee shop. Listen in and learn how The Meantime motivates its team to meet the mission and vision of the organization, all while creating professional development for students.

Hope grows here: The Farm at Penny Lane, located on 40 acres in northern Chatham County, uses a holistic and sustainable approach to enhance the quality of life of individuals with severe and persistent mental illness by offering opportunities to become healthier and more self-sufficient.

Entrepreneurial minds over matter: The Dreamers-Who-Do program provides UNC-Chapel Hill students with the opportunity to explore their ideas, travel, learn, and create. All made possible by a donor who’s passionate about student education and philanthropic opportunities that have a social impact.

Transforming garbage into fashion: With a dad who works in outdoor advertising, Ana Soule has spent a lot of time around vinyl billboards. She has also seen firsthand how much of the material is produced without a sustainable method to repurpose it later. To find an eco-friendly way to re-use the vinyl instead of sending it to the dump, the Carolina senior launched the Phoenyx Project, a company that creates durable and fashionable utility bags from recycled billboard material.

Healthy food that helps the community: Good Bowls are healthy, frozen meals designed to address food insecurity in low-income populations. Created by Alice Ammerman, Mildred Kaufman Distinguished Professor of Nutrition at the Gillings School of Global Public Health and director of the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, the initiative aims to create economic opportunities for local farmers and food entrepreneurs as well.

Personalized cancer care anywhere: Today, 55 percent of new cancer cases arise in developing nations—a figure that could reach 60 percent by 2020 and 70 percent by 2050. EmpowerRT is looking to address this challenge with their unique technology solution. EmpowerRT’s mission is to help people in developing countries by improving cancer radiation therapy without spending millions of dollars on modern treatment technology.

Transforming sex education through technology: Liz Chen and Cristina Leos are co-founders of the Real Talk app, a mobile app that uses real stories by real teens to convey relevant and credible information about the issues that teens go through growing up. Learn how they are improving the health and well-being of youth through this innovative learning tool.


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