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On October 2, 2017, the American Indian Center (AIC) hosted The Faith Awards Luncheon for the third consecutive year. The AIC’s Faith Danielle Hedgepeth Award and Carolina Native Service Scholars Awards were awarded. At the luncheon, three UNC students were honored for their scholastic achievements and interest in serving the American Indian population of North Carolina.

Elexia “Lexy” Locklear, sophomore UNC student of the Lumbee Tribe, was the recipient of the Faith Danielle Hedgepeth Award. This award seeks to celebrate and honor the life of former Tar Heel, Faith Danielle Hedgepeth by financially supporting a sophomore student interested in pursuing a career in a helping or health profession serving American Indian populations. The recipient must also be able to demonstrate a record of service to the American Indian community at Carolina.

Elayna Locklear of the Lumbee Tribe and Zachary Richardson of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe were the recipients of the Carolina Native Service Scholars Award. This award provides financial support to two incoming UNC students who participated in UNC’s Summer Bridge Program and have demonstrated service and/or leadership in a NC Native Community. Recipients are encouraged to work on a service project at the American Indian Center where they will be exposed to professional development, leadership, and community engagement opportunities.

At the Faith Awards Luncheon, the recipients were congratulated by Faith’s family, AIC staff, and a host of UNC campus partners and students. Faculty remarks were provided by Dr. Malinda Maynor Lowery, Director of the Study for the American South and Associate Professor within the Department of History. The accomplishments of two previous award recipients were also highlighted.

The AIC staff would like to congratulate Lexy, Elayna, and Zachary on being this year’s recipients on receipt of this year’s awards. There is no doubt that they will go on to make a wonderful impact on the Native Communities they serve.

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