Carolina Bonner Leaders

EmPOWERment, Inc. is proud to be partnered with UNC Chapel Hill’s Bonner Leadership Program through the Campus Y. The Bonner Leaders Program at UNC is part of a nationwide network of more than 80 colleges and universities that provide service-based scholarships to support social justice activities throughout students’ college careers. EmPOWERment, Inc. currently has two Bonner Leader working for the organization. 


Karlton Tate

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Karlton is a third-year Honors Public Policy student at UNC-Chapel Hill. Karlton is a Chapel Hill native and graduated from East Chapel Hill High School in 2017. Karlton also volunteers at the Community Empowerment Fund (CEF) as an advocate for community members who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness. 

Maria Rita Furtado

Maria is a Public Policy and Global Studies student at UNC-Chapel Hill. Maria is originally from Brazil but has lived in New York City for most of her life. Maria graduated from The Mary Louis Academy in 2018 and is now going onto her second year at Carolina. Maria is a Girl Scout troop leader for a local Chapel Hill troop and occasionally volunteers with the Newman Center at UNC.

Desiree Lockhart


Desiree is a first-year Public Policy and Contemporary European Studies Honors student at UNC-Chapel Hill. She grew up in the DC Metro area of Maryland and graduated from Richard Montgomery High School in 2019. Having spent the majority of her high school career volunteering for under-privileged youth in Maryalnd, she is excited to begin a new chapter working with EmPOWERment to serve the Orange County community on issues of housing and economic development.


Major: Computer Science

UNC Class of 2017

Elliot Chen

Elliot was with EmPOWERment since his freshman year at UNC Chapel Hill. Elliot was an important member here at EmPOWERment, taking on the role as EmPOWERment's website and social media manager and helping us acquire grants to fund Career Explorer and other projects. In 2016, Elliot biked across the country with Bike Build to raise awareness and to support affordable housing.

Major: Journalism

UNC Class of 2019


Isabella is a seasoned traveler and backpacker having explored 10+ countries and contributed over 2,000 volunteer hours worldwide. In her last few years with EmPOWERment, Inc., Isabella kept us a part of the CFC Combined Campaign and relaunched our Summer Career Explorers program for disadvantaged youth.