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Come Here. Go Anywhere.

Members of Honors Carolina Class of 2023 at orientation in August 2019.

Members of the Honors Carolina Class of 2023 at orientation in August 2019.

Come Here. Go Anywhere. For Honors Carolina, it’s more than a tagline: it’s a promise to students. And it’s a promise that couldn’t be kept without support from dedicated donors. During the Campaign for Carolina, more than $XX million was raised to help Honors Carolina guide students on a personalized journey toward a purposeful life and successful career.

One of the hallmarks of private support for Honors Carolina is the Go Anywhere initiative, established in 2017 by alumni Chad and Blake Pike, who both graduated in 1993. Their gift supports a team of expert career coaches and an online platform where students can explore experiences and opportunities, connect with faculty and industry mentors, find internships and jobs, and reach out to students with similar interests.

“The idea was simple — for Carolina people to help Carolina people,” Chad Pike said. “We hope Go Anywhere will allow students to identify an industry and sector they are passionate about and to secure better internships and ultimately full-time jobs via the alumni network. We also hope students will actively participate in that network post-graduation and give back philanthropically as they are able.”

Honors Carolina staff say students are motivated and curious, but often overwhelmed by choices about where they want to go in life and how to get there. The Go Anywhere initiative balances high-tech with high-touch. The online platform showcases opportunities and resources, and the coaches help students decide what to explore.

The structure of Go Anywhere covers multiple career areas: finance; technology; health care; business; and law/government/nonprofits. Each sector has a coach, a full-time staff person who works directly with students, and an advisory council of alumni who are leaders in that particular sector. Together, they open doors to internships and jobs, counsel on key industry trends, and mentor students toward career and life preparation.

Matthew Gillespie
Matthew Gillespie ’23

“The Go Anywhere platform played a critical role in launching my professional journey,” said Honors Carolina student Matthew Gillespie ’23, a double major in business administration and music. Through the Go Anywhere initiative, Gillespie was able to connect with Scott Ogle ’97, an entrepreneur and founder of TruLab, Inc., a tech startup that supports biological sample tracking in clinical trials. That connection led to Gillespie’s internship at TruLab in business development and implementation, which lasted for two years.

“My experience at TruLab, achieved via the Go Anywhere platform, laid the foundation of my resume and prepared me to land full-time employment following graduation,” Gillespie said.

In addition to the Go Anywhere initiative, Honors Carolina Scholarships play a vital role in recruiting highly motivated and intellectually adventurous students to Chapel Hill. These unique mentored scholarships are designed to build lasting relationships among remarkable scholars, distinguished faculty and benefactors who are committed to the program’s success..

Kaylee Burrell ’21 (MAT ’22)
Kaylee Burrell ’21 (MAT ’22)

Kaylee Burrell ’21 (M.A.T. ’22) was one of these students. She said that receiving the Boneparth Family Honors Carolina Scholarship gave her confidence to follow her dream of becoming a teacher.

“The scholarship gave me validation that I should continue doing what I love to do, because that is what had gotten me to this point and others saw the value in it,” Burrell said.

The Boneparth Family Honors Carolina Scholarship was established in 2016 thanks to a gift from Heather ’80 and Peter Boneparth ’80. Since their undergraduate days, the Boneparths have stayed closely connected to Carolina as volunteers, donors and parents of three children who also became Tar Heels.

“We were very grateful for the experiences we had there,” Heather Boneparth said. “I enjoyed everything that a large university offers, from academics to extracurriculars and sports. Being a part of the honors community was a great bonus and integral to my decision to choose UNC. We always felt that if there were ways we could help the University, we should do it.”

Boneparth served for 17 years on the Honors Carolina Advisory Board, assisting administrators and deans in expanding program offerings and strengthening academic and advising resources to help honors students achieve success. As an ambassador for Honors Carolina, she met several high school students who were considering coming to Carolina but had also received scholarship offers from other colleges. The Boneparths felt that providing a full merit scholarship was essential to bringing these top students to Carolina.

“Carolina wasn’t offering the financial support that other schools were, and we wanted to help fix that,” Heather Boneparth said. “That was the origin of the Honors Carolina scholarship. Top students drive innovation and raise the bar for everyone. We wanted to make sure that Carolina is competitive for those students, because we know Carolina has so much to offer them.”

Burrell graduated in May 2022 with a master’s degree in education after earning her undergraduate degree as a double major in English and psychology. She is now a high school English teacher in Hillsborough, North Carolina

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