An Eye-Opening Experience

The Tar Heel Bus Tour travels to towns and cities throughout North Carolina as faculty members and senior administrators examine the most pressing issues facing our state. Carolina Across 100 partners will be featured in the annual bus tour.

“Our State, Our Work” 2023 Bus Stops

Carolina leadership hit the road in October for the annual Tar Heel Bus Tour. Two buses covered both the east and west portions of North Carolina making 19 stops, each exhibiting the University’s commitment to serving all North Carolinians. Two of the stops were hosted by “Our State, Our Work” teams, showcasing their local efforts to connect young adults with living wage employment opportunities.  

Tar Heel Bus Tour Stops 

  • Team 5 (Collaboration Over Competition) hosted University leaders at their headquarters in Cabarrus County on October 18. Team 5 is led by the Men of Destiny program, partnering with the governments and other community leaders of Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties to provide Opportunity Youth with mentoring from local business and government leaders through hands-on internships. Through the “Levels of Leadership” Initiative, young adults receive opportunities to gain Level One certifications in construction while benefiting from training from the Southeastern Carpenters Regional Council. In addition to technical skills, young adults also receive social-emotional support from their community mentor. 
  • Team 11 (Wayne County Pathfinders) hosted a bus tour stop at the Wayne County Library, which is a lead partner in providing employment support, career fairs, volunteer opportunities, and community service opportunities for justice-involved youth. Other partners on the team include the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, Wayne County Public Schools, Communities Supporting Schools of Wayne County, and Wayne Community College. 

Tar Heel Bus Tour Minigrant Program

The Tar Heel Bus Tour grants program works to support the goals of the Tar Heel Bus Tour and encourage participants in the 2019 and 2022 Tar Heel Bus Tours to build on and maintain their connections across North Carolina by developing projects that address issues and needs in partnership with communities throughout the state. In 2023, Carolina Across 100 partnered with UNC Rural to offer $100,000 total in grant funding to these community-engaged projects that will have a meaningful impact across the state. These funded projects are ongoing in 14 North Carolina counties. 

Call for Applications

New in 2024, Carolina Across 100 is once again partnering with UNC Rural to offer Tar Heel Bus Tour minigrant funding. A total of $50,000 in funds will be awarded. Applications are due by March 28, 2024. Individual participants in the 2023 THBT may apply for grants of up to $5,000. Participants who partner with one or more other THBT participants may apply for up to $10,000. Grants will be awarded to participants who connect the project to their field of scholarship and demonstrate that the main beneficiaries of their efforts will be local communities. A total of $50,000 in funding is being provided by the Carolina Across 100 initiative and UNC Rural. Preference will be given to proposals/projects that: 

  • Are collaborative efforts involving community organizations and UNC-Chapel Hill THBT participants. 
  • Address a significant issue as defined by the community/state. 
  • Are part of an existing or a planned longer-term sustainable relationship with the community. 
  • Have the potential for lasting impact, may lead to a larger effort and/or leverage additional funds for additional engagement endeavors. 
  • Are connected to the applicant’s field of scholarship. 
  • Reach across traditional disciplinary boundaries to involve multiple schools/departments. 
  • Occur in an area prioritized by the funders of rural areas of the state and counties not already represented in Carolina Across 100. 

 Learn more from UNC Rural