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The Daily Tar Heel

PBS program highlights people who follow their dreams

Roadtrip United States
Roadtrip United States

PBS’s “Roadtrip Nation” will make a pit stop at UNC-Chapel Hill on Friday, Oct. 16.

The show, beginning its sixth season, is including UNC-CH  on its fall tour along with other East Coast universities.

The premise of the series is to inspire college-age students to pursue their passions and talents.

“As a generation, we need to need to get back to focusing on individuality. Self-construction rather than mass production,” the show’s online manifesto proclaims.

Central also is the notion of weeding out what they refer to as “the noise.”

“‘The noise’ is friends, family members and society that act as pressures to conform to a certain set path,” said Lauren Ho, the show’s national events director.

Ho is one of the eight roadies who will be coming to North Carolina.

She said the main mission of the tour is to provide outreach, inspire and mobilize America’s college youth.

“Face-to-face interactions with our target audience (college-aged students) is our greatest reach to encourage students to check out our Web site, apply for road trips and help us spread the word,” Ho said.

This recruiting aspect of the tour is the main way Roadtrip Nation gets new roadies and more campuses involved.

In its previous five seasons, Roadtrip Nation has covered all four corners of the United States and has extended itself internationally to six continents — in countries such as Uganda, Australia, New Zealand and England — through its Independent Roadtrip Grant Program.

The roadies themselves share certain similarities, though the selection process varies each year.

All roadies are early- to mid-20s and are often alumni from previous seasons.

The fall roadies are from  The University of California at Davis, The University of California at Irvine, Montana State University, Northland College, Miami University (Ohio), and The University of Georgia.

They have majored in communication, journalism, English,  studio art, economics and marketing, among others.

Four roadies will be coming to UNC.

More information — along with pictures, videos and the rest of the manifesto — is available at the show’s Web site, www.roadtripnation.com.

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