The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday February 2nd

Stepney to mentor children

To provide items, events at UNC

Since beginning high school in Cary, Krista Stepney has worked with homeless children and tutored elementary and middle school students.

Now a senior, she hopes to continue her efforts to help children at five afterschool centers in Chapel Hill and Carrboro as the University’s Homecoming queen.

Her project, Education Toolbox for Kids, seeks to donate items that fulfill four of children’s needs:  education, recreation, health and well-being.

The program also seeks to build relationships between students from UNC and children in need by setting up play days once a week where students can interact with the kids.

“I don’t want to drop off a bunch of goods,” Stepney said. “I want to actually go into the centers and let them know that Carolina students care about them.”

In each of these meetings, students will address a topic related to one of the needs and will donate the collected items.

Stepney said that at the end of the month, the afterschool education centers will have received tools to help them supply the children with the four needs.

Education Toolbox will receive donations from organizations around campus and from students at events, she said.

Funding could also be provided through the money she would receive toward the project as the Homecoming queen.

These funds, Stepney said, would be used for donations and for hosting events on campus to help support Education Toolbox.

Education Toolbox grew from Stepney’s love for children and her volunteer work over the past several years.

“I want to show kids that they have a teacher, that they matter,” she said.

She said she wants to prevent recent budget cuts from hurting education.

Stepney also said she wants to give back to the UNC community.

“I found my friends here,” she said. “Essentially I found my family here.”

Along with her volunteering, Stepney has responsibilities with several organizations on campus, her roles ranging from Miss Black Student Movement to president of the Theta Pi chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

Stepney said she hopes to add Homecoming queen to those responsibilities.

“To be able to represent my peers and the students at Carolina would be a truly awesome achievement for me,” she said, adding that she hopes students will vote with her project in mind.

“I don’t just want them to vote for Krista Stepney. I want them to vote for these afterschool centers,” she said. “I want them to vote for these children and essentially to vote for Education Toolbox. I am just an avenue to the project.”

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