Diversity Initiatives

Diversity is critical to NC State’s mission. Both Park Scholars and the Park Scholarships program are committed to building a stronger and more diverse, equitable, and inclusive program.

Opportunities for Current Students

Ambassador Leadership Team

The Ambassador Leadership Team allows current students to play an important role in the recruitment of new Park Scholars. By serving as Park Ambassadors and assisting with outreach to North Carolina and select out-of-state schools, members of the Ambassador Leadership Team work to ensure prospective students from underrepresented communities are informed about the Park Scholarships application process. At different stages of the selection process, they hold Facebook Live events to facilitate dialogues with prospective students who are GLBTQ+, people of color, spiritual/secular, and out-of-state/international. They have also been instrumental in developing and implementing diversity-related components of Final Selection Activities, including the Identity/Interest Group Breakfast (started in 2020) and the online Interest Group session held in February 2021.

Park Under-Resourced Assistance (PURA)

With Park Under-Resourced Assistance (PURA), Park Scholars have created a community that seeks to aid under-resourced applicants to NC State and the Park Scholarships program throughout the admissions process. This initiative provides under-resourced applicants opportunities to interact with and grow alongside Park Scholars. Current students provide support with essay development and during Semifinal Interviews and Final Selection Activities. PURA is designed to work with exclusively under-resourced applicants, defined under a broad scope of identities including but not limited to applicants who are first-generation, are from low-income backgrounds, attend overpopulated schools, are from rural areas, and who identify with other marginalized populations.

Enhancements Initiated by Park Alumni

Park alumni have played an essential role in pushing the program to evaluate its selection process and ensure that we are reaching prospective students in underrepresented communities throughout the state and country. Park alumni can serve as Park Ambassadors and recruit prospective students or be involved in the selection process by serving on the Selection Committee. Among other improvements, feedback from Park alumni has prompted the addition of enhanced Selection Committee training materials related to implicit bias, broad identification of qualifications (such as considering activism work as an example of service), and understanding context. Selection Committee members are required to affirm our Selection Committee Responsibilities and Code of Ethics each year. 

Diversity Emphasis in Programming

All Park Scholars take part in enrichment programming intended to advance their personal and professional development. In 2021, a three-part session was added to the freshman curriculum to introduce scholars to the impact of structural racial inequality. In addition to this programming and the Leadership Academy diversity sessions described above, Park Scholars use Learning Labs to hone their skills in communication, engagement, inclusion, change by exploring state and national topics with prominent leaders. Topics are selected by the students and in recent years have included the foster care system, education access, mass incarceration reform, tribal sovereignty, immigration policy reform, affordable housing, health care access, natural disaster preparation and recovery, and infectious disease.

An Ongoing Process

Park Scholarships is continually changing to better develop our scholars’ potential in scholarship, leadership, service, and character so that they are prepared to make lifelong contributions to the university, state, nation, and world. We are committed to continuous improvement and we welcome input to further grow the program and strengthen our mission.

Each semester, the program shares updates about ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion work. Read more »

Support This Work

Make a gift

In partnership with a Wolfpack family, the Park Scholarships program has created the One Park One Pack: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fund. The fund aims to nurture the strong and powerful potential held by all Park Scholars for creating positive change specifically related to progress in diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice within and beyond the Park Scholarships program. It will support the development and expansion of projects and programming that build essential skills and competency in Park Scholars, advancing Park Scholarships’ mission of equipping students to make lifelong contributions to the university, state, nation, and world.

Report bias or discrimination

The Park Scholarships program encourages anyone affected by a bias incident to file an online report with all relevant details. NC State’s Bias Impact Report Team (BIRT) process is a multi-step method for evaluating reports of bias and discrimination in which the BIRT assesses each incident and proposes actions. The Park Scholarships community is also welcome to communicate incidents to parkscholars@ncsu.edu.

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