We Are UNCW Telling our story, one Seahawk at a time.

Rachel Bodkin-Fox

May 24, 2018

Rachel Bodkin-Fox ’16 MPA has unpacked a delicious solution for youth facing employment obstacles. Her area restaurant, The Foxes Boxes, serves meals of fresh food priced between $6 and $12 and is staffed by 17- to 24-year-olds from underserved communities.

While pursuing her master’s in public administration at UNCW, she became more focused on the importance of fostering engagement between the public, private and nonprofit sectors to have a greater impact on public policy.

Bodkin-Fox credits the support of her professors and the Small Business Training and Development Center for helping her turn an idea of a for-benefit business that relies on community partnerships into a successful venture.

This year, she hopes to grow the restaurant’s externship program with a steady number of individuals in each eight-week cohort, and increase the business-partner relationships with those who want to interview the outgoing externs for potential job openings.

“My proudest moments are the days when our former externs walk through the door to share news about jobs they are working and how the externship benefited their transition into these positions,” she said.

Finding there is little free time when you own a restaurant, she encourages time management and multi-tasking, which is reflected in her advice to today’s students: “Eat healthy; drink water; get sleep; find someone in your program who will lift you up with funny memes; and choose topics for your course assignments that will benefit your professional development.”

-- Caroline Cropp