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Mental Health provider establishes social work scholarship at UNCP

December 15, 2009

Carolyn Floyd-Robinson believes that when God opens a door, it is worth the risk to step through it.


From left to right: Donna Lowry, UNCP Board of Trustees; Carolyn Floyd-Robinson, donor, alumna, and member of the Chancellor’s Search Committee; Dr. Sherry Edwards, Chair of UNCP’s Social Work Department; Mrs. Mary T. Hill, mother of Carolyn Floyd-Robinson; Dr. Freda Porter, Chairwoman of UNCP’s Board of Trustees; Dick Taylor, UNCP Board of Trustees; and Chancellor Charles R. Jenkins.

Despite adversity that included the death of her husband, Floyd-Robinson has capitalized on opportunities to become chief executive officer of New Life Services, Inc. She built her company over 12 years from a halfway house to a compre- hensive mental health provider.

Her education was also a step-by-step proposition from Johnson C. Smith University to Shaw University to UNC Pembroke. She earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree from UNCP in 2005 and a Master of Social Work degree from East Carolina University in 2007.

“At UNCP I met a lot of people who encouraged me like Sherry Edwards and Collie Coleman,” Floyd-Robinson said. “Dr. Coleman wrote a letter of recommendation for me to attend graduate school, and he advised me on how to get into a very competitive program.”

The late Dr. Coleman was associate vice chancellor for Outreach, and Dr. Edwards is chair of the Social Work Department.

“As a student, I had a really close relationship with Dr. Edwards,” Floyd-Robinson said. “When I graduated, she asked me to teach a class on the treatment of substance abuse.”

Because of her training and background in mental health services, Floyd-Robinson brings a lot into the classroom. She is also a licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist and provisionally licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Alicia Oxendine, director of Major Gifts for UNCP, invited Floyd-Robinson to help plan what turned out to be one of the most successful fundraising events in the University’s history in 2009.

“Ms. Floyd-Robinson is a well respected leader in Robeson County,” Oxendine said. “In addition to this generous scholarship, she helped make UNCP’s summer S.O.S. fundraiser an immense success by serving as a major sponsor.”

Floyd-Robinson downplays her contributions saying, “I’ll do what I can with the time I have available.” Besides being generous with her time and working with several professional and charitable groups, she is also generous with her resources.

“I truly thank God that through His mercy and grace I’m here,” Floyd-Robinson said. “My philosophy and vision is to bless people, and I can think of nothing better than to help someone get an education.”

She recently established an endowed scholarship at UNCP to benefit a social work student. The goal is to build the endowment to $15,000 within five years.

“I like the idea of helping out a student in my profession,” Floyd-Robinson said. “I asked that the scholarship go to someone in school social work because I think that is an important field.”

Chancellor Jenkins thanked Floyd-Robinson for her gift and support of the University.

“I can think of no better thing to do than honor one’s mother,” Chancellor Jenkins said. “This is a special gift that will honor Mrs. Mary T. Hill in perpetuity, and our University and the recipients of this scholarship will benefit from this gift.”

Floyd-Robinson is giving back to UNCP in other ways. As an alumni representative to the Chancellor Search Committee, she will play an important role in selecting the next leader of the University.

Dr. Freda Porter, chairwoman of the Chancellor’s Search Committee and UNCP’s Board of Trustees, praised Floyd-Robinson for her support of the University.

“I am proud to be associated with Carolyn, and it’s an honor to represent the University’s Board of Trustees in thanking her for this important gift,” Dr. Porter said. “Carolyn Floyd-Robinson is a shining example of what UNCP aspires for its alumni, and we thank her.”

With healthcare reform ongoing both in North Carolina and nationally, Floyd-Robinson is optimistic about the future.

“I believe anything is possible, and I do not discount any one,” she said. “My mother has always been by my side, and we hope that when our days on this earth are done, people will say we did our best for the people of Robeson County and The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.”

For more information about this scholarship or giving at UNCP, please contact the Office for Advancement at 910.521.6252 or email