Every year, the UNC American Indian Center provides a scholastic award for two UNC Summer Bridge students who have demonstrated a commitment to service or leadership in a North Carolina Native community. These students are each given $750 to be used towards books and related school supplies. Carolina Native Service Scholars are encouraged to spend at least one year during their first two years at UNC working on a service project at the American Indian Center. At the end of their project, each Scholar provides a written summary of their experience to be shared with the family that makes this award possible. This year’s awards go to Kyla Locklear and Tiana Jacobs.
Kyla Locklear is a rising sophomore and a proud member of the Lumbee Tribe. Kyla has been actively involved with her tribe from a young age, starting with her participation in the Lumbee Boys and Girls Club. She is willing to serve her community, be it by volunteering at the Annual Fall Festival Fish Fry or contributing to relief efforts after Hurricane Matthew. Kyla was a representative of the Lumbee Tribe at the National AISES Conference during her senior year of high school, the only student from her school selected for this honor.
Kyla has spent her freshman year at UNC-Chapel Hill working as a student ambassador at the UNC American Indian Center. She has spent her time there advocating for diversity at UNC and educating her fellow Tar Heels about Native American issues.
Tiana Jacobs is deeply devoted to the Lumbee Tribe as well. She began learning about Lumbee cultural practices and history at a young age, and always participates in and volunteers for the annual “Dance of the Spring Moon” powwow in her hometown of Pembroke. Tiana is very committed to community service, be it through cleaning projects with the Native American Student Association (NASA), after school childcare with the Pembroke Housing Authorities Youth ExpoGro program, or hurricane relief efforts.
Tiana plans to go into healthcare after she graduates from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her dream is to have a clinic that provides her community with free basic medical services. She hopes that by doing so she will not only help make members of her community healthier, but enable others to pursue economic development for their community.