Teens’ hopes fly high in NASA Challenge

Teens’ hopes fly high in NASA Challenge

The future of NASA exploration – or at least the dreams of several teenagers – recently flew down the dirt-bike track at Hornet’s Nest Park. The teens, members of the Vision Builder Adventures program, were testing their emerging entry in the 2021 NASA Rover Challenge. “Testing the Rover was wild and awesome fun!” said Marshall George, a student leader with Vision Builders. Johnny White founded Vision Builder Adventures 14 years ago to help area youth learn and have fun through projects. That vision fits perfectly with the Rover Challenge. “Each year, the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge features an engineering design challenge to engage students worldwide in the next phase of human space exploration,” the Rover Challenge website says. “The competition challenges high-school and college students to create a vehicle designed to traverse the simulated surface of another world.” The Vision Builder Rover team comes from several area high schools, including the Cato Middle College High at Central Piedmont Community College’s Cato Campus in University City. The team includes: Warren Floyd, sophomore at Olympic High School Marshall George, senior at Central Cabarrus High School Major George, junior at Central Cabarrus High School Jacob Kim, senior at Audrey Kell High School Hannah White, CATO Middle College High Last year, Vision Builder took a large group of students to the NASA center in Alabama. “This time, we’re taking the kids who are able to do the fabricating and able to do all of the other activities” required to design and field a competitive rover. “These are sharp kids!” Months of work The Vision Builder team began working on the project in...
Let’s toast 1st University City Wine Fest!

Let’s toast 1st University City Wine Fest!

By Darlene Heater The inaugural Wine Vault University City Wine Fest on April 22 at University Place was a spectacular event for our community. By the end of the day, we were all laughing, enjoying amazing vino, feasting on mouthwatering food from our sponsor restaurants, swaying to live music and basking in an absolutely beautiful day on the boardwalk. $5,000 for local libraries! Along with giving us a great time, the Wine Fest raised money for our libraries. On May 5, Tim Wallace with the Wine Vault joined University City Partners in presenting $2,500 checks to University City Regional Library and Sugar Creek Library to support their literacy programs. Thanks to our sponsors Many hands went into creating this wonderful event, starting with Tim, who personally selected the 100 wines available to sample. Below are all the sponsors who helped us create the Wine Fest. We also want to thank Tide Dry Cleaners for jumping in to help with cleanup. It’s impossible to bring events like these to our community without the support of businesses like these. See you next year! If you have an opportunity, please show your appreciation for these businesses who help make UCity a great place for people by supporting their business! Check out our event video, too. And join us next year. We are beyond excited to bring this event back to our community in 2018 for year two! Darlene Heater – Executive Director, University City Partners Sponsors for the inaugural Wine Vault University City Wine Fest The Wine Vault University City Connect University City Partners Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority UNC Charlotte Springhill Suites WFAE...
Get running and rolling with Race2Educate, UC Duathlon

Get running and rolling with Race2Educate, UC Duathlon

Our Healthy UCity Race Series heads to school on April 1, with the Race2Educate 5K and Fun Run in University City’s Governors Village learning campus. Then the series heads to the hills – and we mean HILLS – of University Research Park on May 6, for the challenging run-bike-run University City Duathlon and 5K. Sign up now! Help our kids in the Race2Educate 5K and Fun Run The Race2Educate 5K and Fun Run offer fun, energy, community and competition for all ages. Take part in the 5K at 8 am or the Fun Run at 9. After you cross the finish line and check your time, enjoy a post-race block party with music, free food, inflatables and interactive sponsor areas. One participant who shows the Most Cow Spirit will win free Chick-fil-A for a year, courtesy of Chick-fil-A at University Place! Best of all, savor the good feeling of knowing that no matter how fast (or slow) you ran (or walked), your entrance fee will help fund scholarships for deserving students. Eight schools will benefit from your entry fee The 2016 event raised more than $17,000 for scholarships and other school needs. Organizers hope to raise even more on April 1. Eight area schools will benefit from the 2017 event: The four Governors Village Schools (Nathaniel Alexander Elementary, Morehead STEM Academy, James Martin Middle and Vance High) as well as Hidden Valley Elementary, Newell Elementary, University Meadows Elementary and Martin Luther King Jr. Middle schools. More Race2Educate details and registration The 5K includes ChronoChip Timing, awards for numerous age groups prizes for overall Male and Female 5K winners. Click...
Fox Sports and friends help kids get ready for Race2Educate

Fox Sports and friends help kids get ready for Race2Educate

Sixty students at Nathaniel Alexander Elementary School are getting lessons in speed and generosity, thanks to the good people at Fox Sports and their many friends. Those lessons and that generosity, in the form of paid entry fees and new tennis shoes for each child, will pay off on April 1, when students cross the finish line at the Race2Educate 5K and Fun Run. About Race2Educate Race2Educate is an annual event to benefit children attending the four Governors Village public schools and, for the first time this year, students in four other nearby schools. Last year’s event drew several hundred participants and raised over $17,000 for the schools and for scholarships. Fox Sports stepped in this year, literally, thanks to Elizabeth Fulk. Fulk manages Fox Sports 1’s headquarters in University Research Park, and last fall she attended a meeting of University City Connect, an association of area businesses and groups including University City Partners that provides support to nearby public schools. People at the meeting shared inspiring stories about how businesses were giving time and resources to improve our schools, Fulk said. Later, she met with the group’s leader, Rob Rogers of Chick-fil-A University Place, to brainstorm ways Fox Sports might help, too. Run, learn, grow That brainstorming has grown into three separate efforts to help 60 students at Nathaniel Alexander Elementary School become more physically fit while training for the Race2Educate 5K and Fun Run. Fulk and three Fox Sports employees – Amber Freeze, Chris Maner and Shawn Burger – now visit the school weekly to train and run with the students and teacher Nicole Nederik. Nederik also...
Thanks for your donations to Kids Coat Drive

Thanks for your donations to Kids Coat Drive

Thanks to the generous giving of many people, nearly 200 students at eight University City schools are getting warm winter coats. University City Connect, a nonprofit group that supports University City schools, organized the Kids Coat Drive, with the Tide Dry Cleaners at The Arbors and Chick-fil-A University Place providing collection sites and CMS Community Partnerships identifying needs in our schools. The drive provided new and gently used coats to students at Vance High, Nathaniel Alexander Elementary, Morehead STEM Academy, University Meadows Elementary, Newell Elementary, Hidden Valley Elementary, James Martin Middle and Martin Luther King Jr. Middle schools.   About University City Connect University City Connect engages businesses and organizations in University City, Charlotte, creating strategic partnership and volunteer opportunities that support student success – from kindergarten to career. Focused on University City Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools (CMS), University City Connect works closely with principals to identify school and student needs. University City Connect Community Corporate Council, in partnership with the CMS Strategic Partnerships Office, promotes and coordinates needs and opportunities to align community resources. Learn how you can get involved at Universitycityconnect.org and...
TIAA hosts career event for Girl Scouts

TIAA hosts career event for Girl Scouts

Dozens of middle- and high-school Girl Scouts visited TIAA’s University Research Park campus on July 11 to learn about career opportunities and the work of several community organizations, including University City Partners. The program included presentations by female leaders from within TIAA regarding various functions of TIAA such as human resources, legal, accounting, sales, marketing, internal audit and corporate social responsibility. Representatives of 10 community organizations, including Darlene Heater, executive director of University City Partners, joined the TIAA-Girl Scouts program for lunch and shared their organizations’ objectives and impact in our community. For instance, University City Partners provides support for University City Connect, an effort by area businesses to support the four public schools that comprise the Governors Village in University Research Park. TIAA is also a member of University City Connect and invested hundreds of volunteer hours in Governors Village schools in the 2015-16 school year. One program on personal finance, Vault – Understanding Money, involved TIAA volunteers visiting fourth- and sixth-grade classrooms at Nathaniel Alexander Elementary School and James Martin Middle School to reinforce classroom lessons on topics ranging from Responsible Money Choices to Income and Careers. In April, TIAA was among 35 institutions nationwide honored at the second annual Innovation in Financial Education Awards, presented by NASDAQ and Everfi. The award recognizes TIAA’s significant efforts to improve the financial capability of Americans through unique digital learning...