A new college readiness and life skills course for high school aged refugees called “Project Jumpstart” will be held on UNC’s campus from August 7-19.

The project is being spearheaded by Riley Foster, a UNC senior and an Eve Carson Scholar.

Foster is using the scholarship to facilitate the project, which is the culmination of years of interest in and work with local refugees.

“I’ve worked with the Burmese and Karen population since I was 15 at East Chapel Hill High and have continued on through the Refugee Community Partnership which is affiliated with UNC and the broader Chapel Hill community,” said Foster.

An estimated 1,000 Karen refugees live in Orange County.

The course will include information on the college education process, a panel of first generation college students, and tours of the UNC campus, among other workshops and sessions.

Foster is also partnering with Boomerang, a local arts-based non profit, who will help the students tell their stories through the art medium of their choice.

“I’m a big believer in education as a tool for economic empowerment, and I tried to tie those two things together because the refugee community in Chapel Hill is very large and Chapel Hill is becoming increasingly expensive to live in,” said Foster.

You can find more information on the Refugee Community Partnership here.