Heart of Charlotte Awards

Recognizing Charlotte individuals and organizations that have embraced the spirit of serving others.

About the Heart of Charlotte Awards

In its inaugural year, the Heart of Charlotte Awards offers grants and awards to individuals and community organizations to support collaborations, partnerships, and leadership. Honorees are celebrated for their exceptional commitment to bettering the Charlotte metro community by strengthening neighborhood connections, investing in educational achievement, creating jobs and supporting business development, and fostering social, racial, and health equity.

Finalists for the 2021 Heart of Charlotte Awards will be determined the week of October 4.

**Winners from each of the five categories will be announced by the first week in November 2021.**


Award Categories

  • Frontline Worker of the Year: Honoring a healthcare worker in the community who is dedicated to fostering healthcare equity.
  • Educational Leader of the Year: Honoring a leader in the community that has gone above and beyond to invest in educational achievement.
  • Community Leader of the Year: Celebrating an individual that is making a difference in the Charlotte community by strengthening neighborhood connections, creating jobs, supporting business development and/or fostering social and racial equity.
  • Community Engagement Award: Recognizing exceptional Northeastern University students, alumni and/or faculty and staff at Northeastern University–Charlotte who are committed to creating reciprocal partnerships that are mutually respectful, socially and ethically responsive, strategic and purposeful.
  • Community Partner of the Year: Recognizing an organization that is making an impact on the community through its commitment to strengthening neighborhood connections, creating jobs, supporting business development and/or fostering social and racial equity.

Who can apply?

Nominations are free and open to all individuals who reside in or work in the Charlotte metro area and organizations that have offices with a Charlotte metro address. The Charlotte metro area includes Anson, Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan and Union counties in North Carolina and Chester, Lancaster and York counties in South Carolina.

How to apply?

To nominate a deserving individual or organization for the Heart of Charlotte Awards, please complete the online nomination form by Friday, September 10, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

Note: While nominations are only accepted through the online form, it is highly recommended that you save a draft of your reason for nominating the individual or organization in a text-based document (e.g., Word, Google Docs), then copy and paste into the online form.

Selection process

Applications will be reviewed by a committee consisting of representatives of Northeastern and community leaders from partner organizations.

Winner recognition

Award winners and finalists will be recognized at the Pancakes & Partnerships appreciation breakfast in Fall 2021. Additionally, award recipients will be acknowledged on our website and social media channels, as well as in media outreach and an upcoming Local Leaders Global Impact speaker series event.


Northeastern University–Charlotte is proud to introduce the Heart of Charlotte Community Grants Program. Any Charlotte-based, nonsecular community organization, nonprofit, or school is eligible to apply. We are looking for projects and programs that are working toward an overall mission of enacting positive and sustainable change in the local communities. These restricted program development funds are available for organizations that have previously partnered with Northeastern or for those that would like to begin a new partnership.

To learn more, visit the Community Grants Program page.

Presenting Partner

Tryon Medical Partners is a medical practice dedicated to maintaining trusted patient-doctor relationships, providing excellent and innovative care, and giving patients the choices in healthcare that they deserve. The physicians who comprise Tryon Medical Partners practice internal and family medicine, cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, pulmonology, rheumatology and sleep medicine. Tryon Medical Partners has nine locations to serve the greater Charlotte area. For more information on Tryon Medical Partners, and to register as a patient, visit tryonmed.com.

Partnership Opportunities

Join us as a Food & Beverage Partner. For details, please contact Carlie Houchins, Director of Learner and Enterprise Engagement, at [email protected] or 704.954.8847.