A group of high school students start their summer mornings walking up and down business and residential streets of Rocky Mount. Their routes are dotted with stops to talk to business owners and curious residents wondering what kids in bright green t-shirts are doing all over town. As the teens make their rounds, they update business information into a phone app.
Over 800 miles away, students in Chicago start their day the same way, and have been for almost 10 years.
Both parties work for MAPSCorps – a nonprofit that employs local teenagers to map businesses in their community. The information is updated every year, and the data are gathered on a free, online mapping program.
UNC researchers have teamed up with counterparts at the University of Chicago, community partners, and local teens to map businesses in Rocky Mount and help the public discover resources in Nash and Edgecombe counties.