Matt speaking to students before they start their walk.


Signs welcoming people to the day's event.


Carborro students posing before the walk.

In March, high school students in Matt Cone’s Global Issues class read Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains, talked with Paul Farmer and Ophelia Dahl, and decided to get involved in a social movement aimed at improving life for thousands of people living in rural Rwanda. To meet this end, the students of Carrboro High—a suburb of Chapel Hill, NC—started a FACE AIDS chapter in their school and organized a fundraiser.

Today we received an update from Matt about his students’ efforts.

From: Matt Cone
Date: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 12:35 PM
Subject: Carrboro High School (NC) kicks butt for FACE AIDS!

Hello PIHers,

I have good news and I wanted to spread it to all of you with all deliberate speed. As many of you know, the students at my school, Carrboro High (CHS), just completed a fundraiser on behalf of FACE AIDS. The CHS students, who were led by four powerhouse 9th grade girls, established a goal of $20,000 and organized the event around a simple principle: each participant would ask 20 people to sponsor them for $20 to walk 20 miles on Sunday, April 17.

In the end, the students collected $21,000 and we know that we still have at least $2,500 that is scheduled to come in to us. The process of raising the money was exhausting, but the sight of so many students getting excited about global health, social justice, and activism was truly inspiring. In fact, we were so giddy at one point that we briefly fantasized about a 30-mile walk next year.

Best wishes.
Matt Cone


Read “Students join a movement for social justice in global health,” an earlier article about activities at Carrboro High.