2009 Fellowship Projects

Andy Esser – Financial Literacy Seminars

Created for the residents of Durham, NC, the objection of Andy's project is to "help people empower themselves so that they are able to take care of their own financial future and not rely on the government." His seminars are two phases. Phase 1 is "live programming" consisting of a basic, intermediate and advanced course. Programming for Phase I includes: financial literacy/basics, budgeting, and saving for the future. Phase II is focused on children, working to get some financial basics integrated into school curriculum and teaching children the importance of saving so that they are able to take charge of their own future.


Bill Gilbert – 2010 Tea Party Information Websites

Created and manages the following two sites: www.ncteaparty2010.com and www.ncteapartysummit.com. The first, serves as a hub for all Tea Parties in North Carolina on Tax Day and any other day in 2010. Information includes: tea party locations,Tea Party event information, and even how to host a Tea Party. The second, is the information website for American's for two Tea Party Summits which will be hosted by Americans for Prosperity.


Karen Hawkins – Girls on the Run, Peck Elementary

Successfully created a "Girls on the Run" chapter at Peck Elementary School in Greensboro, North Carolina. The program was launched on February 22, 2010 with 9 female participants in 4th-5th grade. Since the students of Peck Elementary are primarily from low-income homes, fundraising was an important aspect of this project. Karen was able to secure the funds to cover registration costs and a new pair of running shoes for the participants. A main focus of Girls on the Run is to give girls confidence and empowerment through running and a healthy lifestyle.


Gary Hill – Pathway to College

Held a day-long series of workshops for a large group students at Jones Senior High School in Trenton, North Carolina. The focus of the workshops was to motivate, inspire, and show students the value of a college education- that it is possible for them to attend college and be successful. On top of the motivational talks, the students, who are primarily economically disadvantaged, received financial information from a local credit union and also information from the local community college. Gary is now in the process of applying for a grant that will help him continue to deliver the Pathway to College message.


Stephen Lair – Operation Medicine Cabinet

Hosted a day where the residents of Chapel Hill could dispose of their old or unused prescription medications in an environmentally friendly manner. All that had to be done was Drive up, Drop off and Drive out, no questions asked, and their medications were properly disposed of. This effort was to educate people on the danger of expired medications and to prevent them from just throwing away the medications where they become a danger to seniors, children, pets, and the environment. Operation Medicine Cabinet took place on November 11, 2009.


Rocky Norkum – The Charlotte Super Team

Has formed a team for the purpose of imparting financial and practical wisdom on Charlotteans so that they are not held captive by any unforeseen economic circumstance. The Super Team is seeking to be recognized as the qualified source of expert opinion in the Charlotte Community. Members of the Super Team must be under the age of 39, an entrepreneur, possess a strong personal character and leadership aspirations. Their mission is to advance economic justice through entrepreneurism, stewardship, and vision planning. They will exercise their mission through conferences, workshops and publications.


James Rich – Financial Literacy Classes

After seeing how the on-set of the recession was affecting the members of his church congregation, James decided to develop a series of classes to help. The purpose of the classes is to impart some knowledge of finances and teach the skills to apply the information- to become financially self-reliant. He began his project with 'Phase 1,' which was a test run of the classes, followed by Phase 2, which held them over a series of 4-6 weeks during Sunday School hours at his church.


Brian Rogers – Union County Economic Leadership Council

Developed as a project within the Union County Chamber of Commerce. As Union County continues to grow, the need for free market solutions to local issues are urgent. The ELC’s purpose is to research the local issues and then work to identify solutions and then market these solutions to the public and the policy makers. The committee is composed of local business leaders; the business department at Wingate University is completing current studies that are underway. No such project like this has even been done in Union County.


Mary Jo Shepherd – Safe Routes to School/Walking School Bus

Developed as a way to actively involve the local school community in getting kids to school safely. The program essentially takes volunteer members of the neighborhood to help escort children along a safe route to school. This helps to lower fuel costs, which are paid for by taxes, and supports a healthy and active lifestyle for both children and adults. Mary Jo is hoping to have three walking bus routes for the 2010-2011 school year.


Ryan Swanson – Utilizing Pharmacy Students as Medication Safety Educators in the Community

As a pharmacist, Ryan has seen the problems that medication misuse can lead to, hundreds of thousands of hospital admissions are due each year to this very problem. With the overwhelming amount of medications that are available without a prescription, confusion is high and misuse occurs. Ryan is seeking to eliminate that confusion in local communities and help to bridge the gap between patients and pharmacists. He has done this through editing and re-creating an existing medication safety presentation; this presentation will now used by pharmacy students to reach out to the community at large.


Dan Soucek – 45th Senate District Reverse Raffle Fundraiser

Will plan and coordinate a reverse raffle fundraiser for the 45th Senate District of North Carolina. The 45th District encompasses Watagua, Ashe, Wilkes and Alexander counties. He decided on the reverse raffle because it is an interesting and fun way to spend an evening and has the potential to be profitable. Also, he is partnering with the Appalachian State University Republicans to execute the event. This will give the students campaign event experience and will help them raise money toward their own cause. The fundraiser is scheduled for the summer 2010.


Justin Thibault – BEE Creative

Has been working with an existing organization called BEE Creative which stands for Bless and Encourage Each other. The organization provides art education classes for the community, including drama, visual arts and dance. A problem BEE Creative was experiencing was the high number of students who attend the program on a free or reduced rate, which takes away from the budget directly. Justin has been working with the organization to help make it stronger and will be coordinating a variety show fundraiser in 2010.


Kimberly Wheeler – Leadership Lunch n Learn Series

As a member of Young Advocates, a non profit that works to support the Boys & Girls Club, Kim saw a need to keep the interest of the organizations members and to reach out to the community. She is working to develop a Leadership Lunch 'n' Learn Series for Young Advocates members and young professionals in the community. The goals of the series are: educate the community about Young Advocates, inspire, motive and foster emerging leaders throughout the community, offer informative and engaging subject matter through accomplished professionals in the community, and lastly to have a supportive environment for personal and professional growth and development. This will be done through luncheon topics such as: behind the scenes of board membership, philanthropy & fundraising, leadership panel discussions, and a look back & look forward of the Boys & Girls Club.


Sherry Ward – D.E.M.S. Day

DEMS Day, Demonstrated Effort to Motivate Success Day emerged out of a nonpartisan effort to help the communities of Wake Forest, Rollsville and Northern Wake County get information on current issues and concerns such as: basic health care needs, unemployment, k-12 education and planning for higher education. The first annual event was held in the Fall of 2009, and had a great turn out. One of the features of the day were books supplied for kids who are just learning how to read through the fifth grade level. There were also books to help parents teach their children how to read.