Alumni who’ve tackled some
of the world’s biggest problems
say there’s a lot to learn before you
can change lives — including your
own — for the better.
As if they get it in the water from the Old Well, many students leave Carolina with an urge to change the world. Some find their direction at the Campus Y, long an incubator for social
change, or in Carolina’s more recent service-learning
programs. Some are inspired by a professor or a classmate. Others combine that urge with their ROTC
training or the entrepreneurial programs and student
organizations that flourish on campus.
One well-known example is Rye Barcott ’01 and the
Carolina for Kibera program he founded as a student
while he prepared to become a Marine. A decade later,
Carolina for Kibera is still supporting the hard work of
people trying to build better lives in the sprawling
Nairobi slum. As the paperback edition of It Happened
on the Way to War, Barcott’s book about the experience,
was being published, the Review talked with him about
what he has learned and the advice he gives college students and others looking to change the world.
One lesson Barcott emphasizes is that outsiders can’t
assume they bring the answers to solve other people’s
problems. They must listen and learn to serve in ways
that help people solve their problems themselves.
Here at the Review, we often hear about alumni
involved in entrepreneurial humanitarianism, creating
or leading efforts to help others. Sometimes you read
short news items about them in Class Notes or get to
know more about them in Alumni Today. But this is
about more than individual stories; we see a Carolina
theme here. We decided to pick a few more examples
and present them together on the following pages.
There are many others, working hard and unheralded,
here and abroad. We invite you to share those stories
with fellow alumni at alumni.unc.edu/go/changethe
world. Let’s keep spreading the word.
Callie Brauel ’09 ■ page 40
Jesse Pipes ’02 ■ page 42
Gary White ’ 94 ■ page 44
Marla Smith-Nilson ’ 94 ■ page 45
Francesca Colloredo-Mansfeld ’ 87 ■ page 46
Anne Lynam Goddard ’ 83 ■ page 48
Curt Rhodes ’ 76 ■ page 50