This year’s Mr. and Ms. UNC are excited to use the $500 apiece they received for their service projects.
Ms. UNC, senior Kirsten Ballard, plans to sponsor children to attend Camp Kesem, a camp run by college students for children whose parents have been diagnosed with cancer.
Mr. UNC, senior Mike Jones, is using his award money to create Heel Prints Never Fade, a monument to all fallen Tar Heels.
The process to become a candidate for Mr. or Ms. UNC is to first submit a paper application, which includes a resume of the student’s involvement at UNC, a summary of his or her intended service project, letters of recommendation and a record of transcript.
The candidates were given five days to collect 200 signatures to be put on the ballot for the preliminary round of voting.
“The first week was a lot of being out in the Pit (for) name recognition,” Ballard said.
The first round narrowed the competition to the top three — for Mr. UNC, there were two candidates left running, and for Ms. UNC, there were four candidates because third place drew a tie.
Ballard, who is the alto saxophone leader of the marching band, a member of two sororities, a morale captain for Dance Marathon and executive editor of SCOPE magazine, said service has been the largest part of her UNC experience.
Ballard has been raising money for sponsorships for Camp Kesem. She said it costs approximately $500 to send one child to camp for a week.
Jones is president of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, a resident adviser in Granville Towers, student coordinator of North Carolina Renaissance, president of Gamma Sigma Alpha National Greek Academic Honor Society, an admissions ambassador and on the ?morale committee for Dance Marathon.
He said his project is especially significant considering the many student deaths UNC saw last academic year.
“Last year, we got hit with a lot of losses. A lot of people were hurt, and a lot of people were connected to these individuals in different ways,” Jones said. “At least there is a monument that honors their legacy for what they did for this campus. Whether it was a small or large impact, it will always be remembered.
“It was an amazing experience. Something I’ll never forget, ever.”
Ballard said she was playing in the marching band when her name was called.
“I don’t think I breathed. I knew most of the songs, and that helped,” she said.
She said she was surprised the announcers pronounced her name correctly.
“I was like, ‘Hey! They said my name right!’” she said. “It was a moment that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
Junior Andrew Hunt, who helped campaign for Ballard, said he has been friends with her for two years. He said he also voted for Jones.
“When the winners were called, I was ecstatic in the stands because it was like a culmination of our hard work,” he said.
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