Diversity award winner founded organization for students with disabilities

Katie Savage

Katie Savage, who founded the first organization for UNC students with disabilities, has won the undergraduate diversity award from UNC’s Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.

Savage is a political science major. She created Advocates for Carolina (AFC) in 2013, spearheading a campaign for disability awareness at the University.

She also was instrumental in UNC’s first exhibit showcasing people with disabilities entitled “This Able Life: What does disability mean to you?”

Savage transferred to Carolina from Central Carolina Community College and hopes to attend graduate school. Her long-term plans include doing nonprofit work and helping to change public policy for those who are disabled.

Her time at Carolina actually began as a patient of UNC Hospitals, where she experienced the amputation of her left leg due to vascular complications after heart surgery.

Coming to UNC was a dream come true, Savage said.

In her admissions essay, she wrote, “Being able to attend UNC has always been my dream, and the reason why I’d like to transfer is because my goals and objectives are for UNC to help me to become a leader. I want to be nurtured and learn not only more about myself, but how I can positively create an impact in our society.”

A nominator for the award cited Savage’s “persistence, passion and love,” that has allowed her to “move the University toward becoming more accessible for all students.”