She Sparks: Meet Analisa Sorrells

Photo by Jacob McCalip

By Analisa Sorrells

Maybe it was watching the 2009 Tar Heels bring home another national championship. Maybe it was fall of 2012 when I visited campus for an official tour with my parents — bewildered by the colors of the leaves, the sounds of Kenan Memorial Stadium, the buzz on Franklin Street. Maybe it was the friendship and love extended to me by every girl on my dorm hall freshman year, welcoming the out-of-state kid with open arms. Maybe it was strangers smiling on the street corner, people holding doors open no matter what, or the communal love of sweet tea and barbecue.

As my love for UNC grew, so did my love for the state of North Carolina. Beyond the natural beauty that pulled me here, what makes this place really special is the people. The people who wake up day in and day out and go to work to make a better life for themselves. As I studied public policy in the classroom at Carolina, I became keenly interested in the unique food and agricultural issues facing North Carolina. Despite having a culture rooted in fresh, whole foods, our state faces some of the highest rates of obesity and, at the same time, some of the highest rates of food insecurity across the United States.

During my seemingly endless search for a summer internship, I stumbled across the application for the Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation Fellowship. It seemed almost too good to be true. When I read the description of the JKHF Fellowship, I knew it would be different than any other opportunity I could pursue for the summer. The combination of passion for direct service and innovation for system-level changes surrounding food systems and early childhood education were a perfect fit for my past experiences and interests.

Most importantly? The JKHF Fellowship was all about investing in a state that I had come to know and love — North Carolina. The Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation recognizes that, despite the pressing policy issues facing our state, investing in our people is the key to achieving long-term progress. Joining the JKHF Fellowship this summer has allowed me to jump in on a thousand small opportunities — and a few big ones — to make North Carolina an even better state. For that, I am extremely thankful.


Analisa Sorrells is a rising senior at UNC-Chapel Hill, studying Public Policy with a minor in Journalism. In addition to her part-time job at Campus Recreation, Analisa volunteers with TABLE as a committee co-chair and board member. Analisa will be working with EducationNC . At EdNC, Analisa will support the Reach NC Voices project through research, grassroots organizing, storytelling and content development focusing on the summer meals program in North Carolina. Analisa enjoys practicing yoga, plays the violin and is a vegetarian.