Monday, December 15, 2014

Fellows Give Back For The Holidays

Founder and President, Cate Edwards, has said "when kids are engaged in their community and the community engages with those kids, a vital exchange can happen."  Through community service, fellows are able to use their unique talents to enrich the community and empower them to make a change.  Fellows also learn the importance of giving back through service.  Check out some of the great organizations the fellows are giving back to this holiday season.

Backpack Buddies provides children from food insecure homes with healthy weekend meals during the school year.  The fellows packed food into bags to be distributed to children and their families.

Feed the Pack is a community based initiative sustained by NC State University to combat food insecurity experienced by members of the Wolf Pack community.  The fellows sorted and organized food donated to the food pantry, and created a display full of quotes about hunger written by NC State students.

Brighton Gardens is an assisted living facility specializing in an active, dedicated approach to senior living.  The fellows taught the residents how to make snowman pottery for the holidays.

The Jingle Bell Run is a 5K dedicated to raising funds for arthritis.  The fellows helped to set up before the run, and passed out running chips to participants.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

College Application Season in Full Swing!

The college application season is in full swing for our senior fellows.  They have been hard at work researching and applying for colleges.  We also have had the chance to visit some amazing colleges including NC State, Appalachian State, Elon, Salem College, and Eastern Carolina.  While visiting, the fellows took campus tours, talked to current faculty and students, and even had the chance to attend a college class.  What a great opportunity for the fellows to imagine what it will be like to be a real college student!

Our junior fellows had a great time volunteering for Boo Bash, a Halloween event for elementary school students at Lake Lynn Community Center.   They worked the haunted bus and had a blast dressing in scary costumes and being with the kids.   They also learned about other great volunteer opportunities available at the Parks and Recreation Department. 

The fellows were also very fortunate this month to join other students at the Wade Edwards Learning Lab hear Dan Bullard from Wells Fargo present about the importance of money management and budgeting.   He focused on what it means to budget, tips for teen money managers, and creating a budget that helps you reach your goals.  

Finally, we are so happy to announce we have accepted a new class of fellows.  Eleven sophomores and three juniors will be joining the Elizabeth Edwards fellows community.  They will kick off the program with a party for all fellows and their families.  Welcome new fellows and congratulations on being accepted into the program!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Welcome Back Elizabeth Fellows!

Welcome to another exciting and eventful school year at the Elizabeth Edwards Fellows Program.  We are so happy to not only have back our class of senior and junior fellows, but to welcome in a new cohort of sophomore fellows. 

This month, we were very lucky to have Sarita Broadway from come to discuss how the College Foundation of North Carolina can help students plan, apply, and pay for college.   The free college and career planning resources that CFNC provides will be key in helping the fellows with the college application process.

The fellows were also able to attend the International Festival of Raleigh.  Thanks to the organization International Focus, which promotes, cross-cultural communication, education, and understanding, we were able to attend the festival for free.  While there, the fellows went to cultural exhibits, watched dance demonstrations, and sampled food from all around the world.  It was a great way to learn about and share world cultures as well as celebrate the diversity of the Triangle.

Finally, the fellows had a great time working with the residents of Brighton Gardens Senior Living Home.  We helped them paint some colorful pottery.  We also heard stories from many residents about how their children attended Broughton High School!    

Friday, June 20, 2014

Help Send Our Fellows To Spark The Wave Week!

Wave Week is one of the premier service-leadership training grounds in the United States.  Wave Week has trained thousands of the nation's best young service leaders.  Through their intensive 6-day program of leadership development, community service, team building activities, and summer fun, young people learn how to plan and execute better service projects while building stronger teams.  Additional skills taught at Wave Week include:

Effective Communication
Group leadership
Motivating team members
Service event planning and marketing
Fundraising and budget planning
Conflict resolution
Diversity awareness
Presentation skills
Personal and group evaluation

With your help, two of our brightest fellows, J'nyce Poe and Starasia Arnold, will be attending Wave Week in Washing D.C. this summer.  Please consider making a donation to to help our fellows take part in this life changing experience.  Thank you!

To make a donation, please visit:

To learn more about the program, please visit:  



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Fellows celebrate the end of the school year!

The Elizabeth Edwards fellows celebrated the end of finals at Dave and Busters.  They each received a certificate recognizing a special talent or contribution made to the program this year as well as a framed group photo.  We had a lot of fun eating, playing video games, and reminiscing about the good times we had over the school year.  After a much deserved rest, many of our fellows will be doing some exciting things over the summer.  J’nyce Poe will be attending the Shelton Leadership Challenge—a six-day residential experience held at NC State University, where student participate in activities about leadership, teambuilding, civic and social responsibility, and goal setting.   J'nyce along with Starasia Arnold will also be attending Spark the Wave Week—a week long service-leadership training held at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.   Berry Martin and Cynthia Lee will be volunteering at a summer arts youth program called Artspace and Jackie Green will be volunteering at Marbles Kids Museum.  K’Lynn Beal will be running in the High School Nationals Track and Field Competition.  Finally, our new senior fellows will be visiting area colleges including, the University of North Carolina, North Carolina Central, Eastern Carolina, Campbell, Elon, and North Carolina A&T.    

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Fellows Attend Xtreme Beginnings and Etiquette Dinner

The fellows participated in many exciting events this April!  As the junior fellows research and narrow down which colleges they will apply to, they will have the opportunity in the coming months to visit some of the colleges they are interested in attending.  A couple of the fellows took a tour this month of North Carolina State University where they learned all about student life and the school's many wonderful academic offerings. 

The sophomore fellows attended the Xtreme Beginnings Career Event.  During this event, students took workshops about personal branding, professional conduct, and job readiness skills.  They also had a chance to practice interviewing with business professionals and visit with career and higher education representatives.   

The fellows and their mentors also had the exciting opportunity to attend an Etiquette Dinner organized by The Raleigh College Center Network.  The dinner helped to ready youth to be prepared for future professional and social interactions by improving table manners, encouraging high-self esteem, and modeling networking skills.   The event also served as a celebration for a successful year of college readiness programming and an appreciation to all volunteers who made it possible.     

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Fellows Go To Washington D.C.!

During Spring Break, the junior fellows had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. for a weeklong visit.  For many of them, this was their first trip to our nation’s capital.  Here are some of the highlights of the visit:  

We toured three museums in the Smithsonian Institution.  The National Museum of History had great exhibits on ancient life forms and cultural artifacts like the famous Hope Diamond.  We watched an IMAX at the Air and Space Museum that presented an unprecedented window seat on board a space shuttle.   Finally, at the American History Museum, the fellows really enjoyed the Changing America exhibit that commemorated the Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington in 1963.   

We had a fantastic time touring the Monuments on a moonlight tour aboard an Old Town Trolley.  We stopped at the Lincoln, Vietnam, Iwo Jima, FDR, and Martin Luther King Memorial.  We also heard historical tales and anecdotes about the fascinating history of Washing D.C.

We visited Arlington National Cemetery and saw the Robert F. Kennedy Gravesite and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  The fellows especially enjoyed the Changing of the Guard ritual and gazing out at the impressive landscape, which serves as a tribute to the service of those laid to rest there. 

We had the chance to visit the Kennedy Center and see an amazing performance called Liner Notes.  Vocalists and a jazz trio combined for a unique multimedia experience to present the history of hip-hop throughout the decades.  

Finally, we had the exceptional opportunity to visit all three braches of the government.  We took a tour of the Capital, attended a lecture at the Supreme Court, and visited the White House.  The highlight of the trip was our visit to the White House.  We were very lucky to participate in a round table discussion with members of the Obama administration who worked closely with Elizabeth Edwards and on the Edwards campaign.  We learned all about life in the White House, and had an incredible tour of the West Wing, including the Oval Office and the Press Corps Room.  We also were given presidential M&M’s and Hershey Kisses, which the fellows were very excited to receive.

Overall, everyone had a wonderful time on the trip.  The fellows learned so much about our nation’s history and political systems.  Whether it’s a career in politics or keeping educated about governmental policies and current events, the fellows learned the importance of being active, and engaged citizens.  

March Mentor of the Month!

Sha’Michael Lilly is in her second year of mentoring two fellows, Cynthia Lee and Albertine Voza.  Sha’Michael is a junior at NC State University studying Social Work.  She has really enjoyed getting to know each of her fellows on a more personal level.  While her fellows are both very different from one another, she really admires their focus and drive when it comes to getting a good education.

During her first year of mentoring, Sha’Michael was able to bring her fellows to two of her classes on campus. This was a great opportunity for them to ask various questions about college life and get a firsthand experience of what it feels like to be a college student.  The fellows also really enjoy their discussions with Sha’Michael and like how kind and understanding she is.  They especially appreciate how Sha’Michael helps them to set up their goals and make the right choices in life.     

Overall, Sha’Micahel has really enjoyed exposing her fellows to the college lifestyle, which is something she was never able to experience as a high school student.  She realizes that many young people may lack stability and inspiration, or anyone to look up to. Mentoring programs can serve as the connecting factor between youth who may feel lost or broken and adults who want to inspire and build them up.  

Friday, February 28, 2014

Fellows Welcome North Carolina General Assembly Speakers!

What an exciting and eventful month for the Elizabeth Edwards Fellows Program! 

We welcomed Dee Atkinson and Russell Miles from the North Carolina General Assembly to talk to our Junior fellows about their local government.  The fellows learned how to find and track bills, follow chamber activities, meetings, and issues, and the best way to find and communicate with their State House and Senate Representatives.  The fellows also learned important ways to advocate for themselves and their community, and gained valuable advice for getting involved in politics and local government issues. 

The Junior fellows also attended a College Application Readiness Workshop hosted by the Raleigh College Center.  The workshop, led by a local high school counselor, gave strategies for creating the best possible application for colleges.   

The Sophomore fellows have also been busy with the Step It Up 2 Thrive Trainings.   This month, the fellows have been creating personal goals and learning goal management skills.  Dr. Richard Learner at Tufts Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, has demonstrated that young people who develop strong goal management skills are on a positive journey toward thriving.   In Step It Up 2 Thrive, goal management is described as an internal GPS guidance system- thus helping the fellows with their Goal Selection, Pursuit of Strategies, and Shifting Gears in the face of challenges.        

February Mentor of the Month!

Congratulations to our Mentor of the Month, Lauren Prevatte! 

Lauren is in her second year of mentoring for the Elizabeth Edwards Fellows Program.  She is currently a senior at North Carolina State University and majoring in Social Work.  

Lauren is matched with two of our fellows- J’nyce Poe and Tabrinna Haley.  According to Lauren, “My fellows have taught me so much more than I could ever have imagined.  They are two girls full of so much potential and drive to have a successful future, and it has been my honor to try and help them access that potential.”   In addition to their weekly meetings at Starbucks, Lauren and her fellows have participated in community service projects together, and attended a “Titanic” exhibit.  According to her fellows, Lauren has been a great influence on their lives.  She is “always available to talk and answer questions, and gives great advice with whatever is going on in our lives.”  Lauren is inspired to mentor because, “in this day and age, youth are surrounded by so many negative stimuli that it is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate down a positive and successful path.  Mentoring gives me the opportunity to use my experience, and even my mistakes, to help them pick a better path for themselves.”  

Thank you so much Lauren for all your passion and hard work!  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New Year's Happenings!

SAT Prep and Skills to Pay the Bills Event!

It has been a busy month for our fellows.  The junior fellows participated in a SAT Prep program offered by the Wade Edwards Learning Lab.  The test prep workshop included strategies for tackling each section of the SAT as well as information about what to expect on test day.  The junior fellows also attended a Skills to Pay the Bills event offered at Broughton High School.  Students participated in interactive presentations on communication, enthusiasm/attitude, teamwork, problem solving/critical thinking, and professionalism.  Presenters included representatives from Fidelity Investments, Alfred Williams and Company, The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Wake Tech Community College, and the United States Army.

The sophomore fellows have started the Step-It-Up-2-Thrive curriculum created by Thrive Foundation for Youth. The first stage of the curriculum is the identification of youths' sparks- those hidden strengths that are discoverable in all youth.  We had a wonderful discussion about how to identify the fellows' sparks, obstacles that can get in the way of sparks, and those champions who know and support them in pursuit of their sparks.    

Finally, out new fellows have started meeting with their mentors this month.  We are so excited for these relationships to grow and flourish, and are already seeing how much the personal support system of a mentor is making a difference in the lives of the fellows.