Where would I be without the Chuck Stone Program?

This past Saturday, alumni of UNC’s Chuck Stone Program for Diversity and Education in Media met for the 2nd Annual Alumni Luncheon. Since it began in 2007, the Chuck Stone program has sent more than 90 rising high school seniors to a week-long journalism wokrshop at Carolina. About 18 of those participants currently attend UNC, most of which are in the journalism school. The workshop teaches students about what studying journalism in college is like and sends them on reporting assignments, all while compiling the program’s annual publication, The Mix (the 2008 edition, which I contributed to, is here).

During Saturday’s luncheon, I was recognized as one of the participants who would be graduating this year. It’s hard to put into just a couple words how profound of an impact the program had on my college career. I truly don’t think I would have gotten into UNC if it wasn’t for the Chuck Stone Program, and the opportunities I have had over the past four years because I was a Chuck Stone participant have only enhanced my college experience.

In the summer of 2008, I was just a 16-year-old who knew she wanted to pursue a college degree in journalism and could only dream of attending UNC-Chapel Hill. Before the program, I already had my eyes set on the university even though my counselors told me it would be my “reach school”. When I found out I had been accepted to the Chuck Stone program, I cried! My dream only grew as I learned from j-school professors and professionals during the course of the program. And of course, the UNC’s campus speaks for itself and I quickly fell head over heels. I remember telling my mom my heart was bleeding Carolina blue after only a couple days. If you know me well, you know how madly in love I am with this university and it all began at the Chuck Stone program.

Not only did the program provide excellent insight into studying journalism in college, but it created the foundations of a professional network. I was lucky enough to attend the program with 12 ladies from across the country. Although I haven’t kept in touch with all of them, Chuck Stone has helped to establish a network of intelligent men and women from each workshop who have similar career goals that I can reach out to. Additionally  the program coordinators have done more than I could have possibly asked over the past five years and will be great contacts in the future as well!

Thank you to professor Napoleon Byars, professor Queenie Byars, Monica Hill, Chuck Stone and all of those who have contributed to this wonderful program! It has made a significant impact not only on my college career, but in my future journalism career. If you know any rising high school seniors interested in journalism, encourage them to apply here. In the future, I can’t wait to watch the alumni program grow and hopefully give back to the program that has given me so much!

Chuck Stone program

All of the Chuck Stone program participants from the class of 2008 along with the program coordinators and mentors.

Chuck Stone

The man, the myth and the legend, Chuck Stone and I during the program in 2008.

Chuck Stone program

Class of 2008 participants reunite at the 2012 Alumni Luncheon for the first time in four years!

Chuck Stone program

Class of 2008 participants at the 2013 Alumni Luncheon.



  1. Once again, your April 29th blog is terrific! It seems like only yesterday that you attended the Chuck Stone program and were so inspired to pursue your dream of attending UNC and preparing for a career in journalism. We remember the phone calls after that with screams and tears of joy that you’d been accepted to UNC. Now look at you – a beautiful young lady who’s talents are being noticed. We’re so very, very proud of you and all you’ve accomplished and it’s with a mixture of joy and sadness that we’re going to see you graduate in less than two weeks!

    Love you lots – Grammie & Grandpa Mike

  2. I really liked your post! I’m considering applying next year for the Chuck Stone program. Did you have to pay for anything or was it all expenses-paid?

    1. Everything was included in the program! You should definitely apply!

  3. […] innovator in journalism and pioneer of diversity — Chuck Stone. I have written before about the impact the Chuck Stone Program for Diversity and Education in Media has had on my life and I […]

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