Portia Parris Fellowship

Portia M. Parris Fellowship Youth Cohort

About the Program

The Portia M. Parris Fellowship (formerly known as NC LEAP) is a development and leadership cohort focused on Rockingham County youth enrolled in elementary and middle school. Since 2017, NC 100 has supported more than 180 students and families in Rockingham County through the NC LEAP program, in partnership with the Reidsville Teen Center and Hayes Taylor YMCA Achievers Program. Participants were offered opportunities of exposure to different career pathways, localities, cultures and experiences inside and outside of Rockingham County.


Recent studies have reported that nearly one third of Black and Latino/a/x students come from economically disadvantaged families. These students are often in schools with fewer resources and are less likely to be college-ready upon graduation. Same studies reported that young people who are surrounded by a variety of opportunities for positive encounters engage in less dangerous behaviors. Positive youth development programs, such as the Parris Fellowship, will engage youth by empowering them to reach their full potential.


COMMUNITY :: Creating Healthy Relationships
CREATION :: Promoting Safe & Inclusive Spaces
COLLABORATION :: School + Family + Community
CONTRIBUTION :: NC 100 Commitment to the Youth


The Portia M. Parris Fellowship centers the experiences of Black and Latino/a/x communities into our current curriculum. We believe this will equip a generation of thinkers with opportunities that will cultivate & enrich their academic, leadership, and career development skills. Our mission is to empower and support youth through awareness and access leading them to self-defined success.

Am I Eligible

The Portia M. Parris Fellowship aims to provide positive youth development services to school- aged students in the following ways: (1) help improve academic performance (2) provide social enrichment experiences (3) jumpstart mental health awareness (4) offer opportunities for college readiness and career exploration.

The Portia M. Parris Fellowship will have open enrollment for new cohort participants every 2 years.

* Please note that spaces are limited for program participation. The selection process will be fair-minded and rely fully upon the information submitted in the application. A completed application must be submitted no later than September 29, 2023, to be considered for eligibility.

Applicant Eligibility Criteria:

The Parris Fellowship is open to students from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented – (Black/African American & Latino/a/x students). However, students who have demonstrated an interest in supporting diversity, equity and inclusion are eligible to participate as well.

To be eligible for consideration, students must

  1. Attend a public or charter school in Rockingham County
  2. Be a rising 3rd – 9th grader at the time of selection
  3. Be between the ages of 8 – 15 at the time of selection
  4. English proficient (reading, writing, speaking)
  5. B average or C average student
  6. Be open-minded, respectful to others and of other cultures, willing to learn, and be a team player
  7. Agree to participate regularly in outlined Parris Fellowship activities – missing no more than 4 activities in a calendar school year
  8. Provide a one-page essay or 1-2 minute video essay answering the following two questions: (1) “Who am I?” (2) What do you hope to gain from participating in the Portia M. Parris Fellowship?
    1. Please note that essay responses will be judged primarily based on content and not grammar or structure
  9. Provide (1) letter of recommendation in support of their application. Letter of recommendation should be written by either a current guidance counselor or a school administrator or a trusted community leader who is familiar with the applicant. Applicants should choose a letter of recommendation they believe will best support their application
  10. Provide (1) 2022-2023 Final Report Card
  11. Parent/Guardian: Agree to attend bi-monthly progress check meetings
  12. Parent/Guardian: Commit to providing 15 hours of volunteer services throughout the 2023-2024 academic year *can include chaperoning off-site field trips, providing snacks or meals for students, etc.*


The Portia M. Parris Fellowship is offered free of charge to participants

How to apply

  • Visit our website at www.NC-100.org. The link to apply will appear on the home page
  • Need special accommodation or a paper application? Email us at ParrisFellows@nc- 100.org or call 336.348.7980.

Before submission:

Applicants should have the following materials ready to attach to their application:

  • (1) Letter of Recommendation
  • (1) 2022-2023 Final Report Card
  • One-page essay or 1-2 minute video essay

If you have any questions or need additional assistance, please email us at: ParrisFellows@nc-100.org.

Fellowship Important Dates: October 21st & October 28th are Mandatory for Participation

August 28th Parris Fellowship Open Enrollment begins – Now accepting applications
September 29th Parris Fellowship Application Deadline
October 16th Accepted Participants Notified
October 21s Guardian/Participant Meet & Greet
October 28th Saturday Academy – Session 1