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Every community has deficits that deserve attention. They also have assets that deserve recognition.

MAPSCorps high school and college age researches walking through Rocky Mount.

MAPSCorps stands for Meaningful, Active, Productive Science in Service to Community. MAPSCorps is an asset-based youth development program that engages youth (high school to early college ages) in mapping resources, challenges, and solutions within their community and develops their capacity as researchers and community change agents. Our program happens in Rocky Mount, NC, a rural community with a sizeable Black population that straddles Nash and Edgecombe counties. MAPSCorps: Nash/Edgecombe is the only southern and rural translation of the program and has been implemented in for eight summers by Project GRACE, a longstanding community-academic research partnership between local stakeholders and the Center for Health Equity Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (CHER). Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) of Rocky Mount is a critical community partner in this work who supports youth recruitment, funds youth stipends, and provides space for program activities. MAPSCorps: Nash/Edgecombe provides up to 15 youth from these counties a 6-week paid summer internship that includes research training, professional development, and experiential learning activities. MAPSCorps 2.0 is a post-COVID-19 reinvention of MAPSCorps: Nash/Edgecombe that will adapt program elements to drive sustainability and prioritize on-the-ground wisdom.

Activating youth to assess and address their own community needs by mixing positive youth development with scientific research, asset mapping, and mobile technology.

Proposed Aims:

  • Develop youth skills in community assets, professional development, and scientific research.
  • Assess MAPSCorps 2.0 elements that need to be maintained, adapted, or eliminated for sustainability in a rural setting.
  • Develop and package a sustainability action plan of best practices and on-the-ground wisdom to facilitate future rural translations of MAPSCorps 2.0.


Community-Academic Partners

This project will be led by the following Edgecombe community members and UNC members:

Kim Evans
PRIME Collective
Chauronda Williams
PRIME Collective


Samuel Baxter
Gillings School of Global Public Health
Leah Frerichs
UNC Center for Health Equity Research

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