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“Ready to Change the World”: Camilo Corrales ’18 named to N.C. Sli’s “20 Under 20”

Generating a yearly list of 20 noteworthy North Carolinians under age 20 is pretty ambitious — and working to get your name on that list is even more so. But for one recent Ravenscroft graduate, that goal has become a reality.  

Camilo Corrales ’18, a freshman at UNC-Chapel Hill, has been named to N.C. Sli’s 2018 class of “20 Under 20,” which recognizes high-achieving Latinx college and high school students from across the state as part of the initiative’s mission to create educational, professional and civic engagement opportunities for young Latinx leaders in North Carolina.

“I was made aware of the 20 Under 20 search by Sean Kennedy, my college counselor. He is the one who nominated me,” Corrales said. “I am very happy that I have been selected and very proud that the work I’ve been putting in is paying off. I am also very grateful to Mr. Kennedy for his confidence in me.”

Operating under the auspices of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Center for Global Initiatives, N.C. Sli (formerly SLI, or Scholars’ Latino Initiative) is one of the university’s largest service-learning initiatives, with mentors investing over 10,000 service hours each year — helping over 150 students from numerous high schools successfully enroll in college and supporting the growth and expansion of its mentoring and college prep model to other universities across North Carolina and Virginia. The 20 Under 20 competition seeks to identify “the best and brightest Latinx students who are ready to change the world,” focusing on applicants’ scholarship, community advocacy and inspirational leadership.

For Kennedy, it was easy to see how Corrales fit that bill.

“As long as I have known Camilo, he has had high aspirations for his life after Ravenscroft. It was invigorating professionally to work with a student with such ambition,” he said. “Nominating him for 20 Under 20 after he graduated was an extension of my commitment to helping him reach his potential. He left Ravenscroft a strong leader very proud of his Colombian heritage, so to see him recognized as one of the top young Latinx leaders in North Carolina affirmed his ability to make a positive impact in our state, country and world.”

Corrales plans to major in business and double-minor in creative writing and entrepreneurship and hopes to one day write a novel. He is passionate about climate change and immigration policy and an advocate for more sustainable lifestyles, including individual recycling and waste reduction.

“I see this [recognition] as a way to build up my resume and work even harder to put myself in the spotlight,” he said. “Since I am currently looking at business as my major, things such as this help me connect with many people who can help me expand my network. Furthermore, having this recognition provides me the opportunity to further myself in college programs that I want to apply for.”

Corrales, who came to Ravenscroft as a freshman, excelled in leadership roles here, serving as president of his senior class, president of the Spanish Club, a chair of Warmth for Wake and a member of both the National Honor Society and the Cum Laude Society. He said he appreciates how well the school prepared him for the work he’s doing at UNC.

“I definitely feel that Ravenscroft shaped me into the hardworking person that I am today. I owe the school a lot because it did teach me a lot and it pushed me to become a better version of myself,” he said. “The opportunities that Ravenscroft gave me in and out of school definitely helped out, and I am proud to say that I am all the better for being a Ravenscroft alumnus.”