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Current Tar Heel, aspiring leader. With C-STEP, she holds the key to her future.

Meet Lauren's Circle

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Met Devon Witek in an accounting and math class. Survived exams with the best study buddy ever.

Sage Stahmer, president of the UNC Sailing Club and a native of San Diego, is the go-to person if you want to hang at Jordan Lake.

Connected with fellow transfer student Sarah Leck over a pizza lunch and became immediate friends.

Personal trainer and C-STEP student Zamir Brown has a huge personality and love of exercise.

Dale Hamilton is pursuing his doctorate in Physical Therapy, and also knows random trivia, like the best way to navigate Dulles Airport.

Ever since Lauren was a young girl, she’s dreamed of attending Carolina. “My dad would take me to soccer games, and I’d cry and cry when we had to go home. I always felt at home here.” With the help of the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program (C-STEP), she arrived on campus after transferring from Sandhills Community College, one of the C-STEP partner institutions. It was a big change, and for Lauren, it was the faculty and students she met through the C-STEP program who made it possible. “I don’t know how I would have been able to handle this transition without them!”

Now she’s all grown up and ready to make her mark on UNC’s campus. She quickly joined student groups, found her favorite study spot on campus (the Union), and her favorite place on campus (Old Well – can’t beat tradition).  Her favorite class so far is Interest Group politics, but she’s open to exploring other options. “The funny thing about UNC is that I came in with one plan, and now that I’m here, there are so many other doors that have opened for me.” Wherever her path takes her, she knows that she wants to help make North Carolina a better place for everyone.

Name: Lauren Key

Hometown: Robbins, NC

Major: Political Science, History and English minors


Jack Kent Cooke Scholar Association, C-STEP Leadership Group, Sigma Alpha Pi Honors Society, College Republicans, Carolina Firsts

Advice to prospective students: My route to UNC was unique and shows that if you want to be a Tar Heel, there are ways to make that dream happen!

That’s the funny thing about UNC– when I got here I had one plan, and now I have an entirely different one because of my options!