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Cohort 1

Jurisdiction: Kinston

University: UNC-Chapel Hill

Hometown: Raleigh, NC

Sarah led the Downtown Kinston Mural Program, a public art initiative funded by a $100,000 NEA Our Town Grant; the grant involved the creation of seven unique, outdoor public murals intended to enhance connectivity between cultural and economic assets in Kinston’s city center. Two of the murals honor Kinston’s Civil Rights heroes and will contribute to the ongoing community conversations about social justice. Additionally, she created Kinston 101, the city’s first citizen academy. The program had 40 citizens participate in the inaugural class. The curriculum helped citizens gain better access to their leaders.

Arney earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and public policy from UNC-Chapel Hill. As an undergraduate, she was a Carolina Scholar and a Buckley Public Service Scholar. She also collaborated with the Community Empowerment Fund, assisting community members in achieving their goals related to housing, employment, and financial independence. This experience taught her about trauma-informed care, harm reduction, and Housing First principles to navigate Orange County resources.

May 29, 2024

WHQR sat down with Talula Dechev, a Lead for NC fellow based in Columbus County, to talk about her work in water infrastructure and rental inspections.

January 19, 2024

The first cohort of Lead for North Carolina Fellows made a splash in communities across the state, launching meaningful projects with real-world impact.

January 19, 2024

Fellow Nick Boyd’s work with the Community Rating System program earned recognition for reducing flood insurance premiums for county homeowners.