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2019 Participants in Chuck Stone Program for Diversity in Media and Education
(Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

For the 13th year, UNC’s School of Media and Journalism hosted its Chuck Stone Program for Diversity in Media and Education. Twelve rising high school seniors (eight from North Carolina and the others from Louisiana, Florida, New York and Nebraska) were treated to a fully funded five-day experience in which they conducted interviews, wrote stories, recorded live on-air broadcast shows, photographed campus, learned about the UNC application process and much more. The students resided on campus in Granville Towers and were taught by professors mostly from within the school.

The focus of this year’s program was personal branding and understanding its importance, especially for high school students. Most of the students want to attend UNC and plan on applying this fall. The program’s opening keynote speaker, professor Gary Kayye, emphasized that the students should realize that “they already have a personal brand and they need to take control of it, immediately!” He encouraged the students to clean up their social media accounts and other sites that might hurt their chances of being admitted to UNC or elsewhere.

The program is named in honor of prolific journalist and professor, Charles “Chuck” Sumner Stone, who promoted diversity and equality during his long career in news reporting. UNC Dean of Summer School Jan Yopp, who co-founded the program, was particularly impressed with this year’s group. “These students as a group have the most heart of any group, I think. They are so involved in their schools and communities with service work, and they are so close and connected with their families. Each has career goals to give back and to represent the voice for the voice-less.”

When asked about how she’s developed an appreciation for the importance of diversity, Joy Young, an attendee from Cary High School, said, “When you consider what needs to be done in this country and what important things we need to realize as a society, we first need to realize that everybody is different and everybody’s needs are not the same. If you really want society to be diverse, you have to level the playing field and make the opportunities equal for everybody.”

The 2020 Chuck Stone Summer Program will be held on July 6-9 and applications are due by March 15. Learn more by visiting

Written by Livis James Freeman, Jr.

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