Empowering students in Durham to succeed in college and beyond

Our mission is to empower students in the Durham Public Schools to own their education by developing the academic skills and personal well-being necessary to succeed in college and beyond. We know that as a result of structural racism, poverty, and other systemic injustices, first-generation college-bound students face significant personal and institutional obstacles to educational success. This situation prevents our community from reaching its full potential. We believe our students are powerful, and that this power will help us realize a Durham where all students can succeed.

— Educational Success—


High School
Graduation Rate




Enrolled in
Post-Secondary Education

– We are Destined to change the world —

Changing Communities

Student U student Jatzyri Perez Garcia is tackling issues of inequity at her school. She is not only identifying challenges but she is proposing systemic solutions that will outlast her tenure. Currently, she serves on a student council that meets with the Superintendent of Durham Public Schools to advise on the strategic plan to close the opportunity gap. Read more about how Jatzyri is changing her community.>


Building Leaders

Ms. Latosha Ruffin has been working to better herself and the community around her. Latosha recently received her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. She has been actively involved in her campus community as a member of the National Council of Negro Women, the UNCP Spirit Squad and as a site leader for the Office of Community and Civic Engagement. She hopes to one day work in a crime lab as a forensic scientist.

Do you have a story to share or want to recognize someone's brilliance?


— Community Announcements —

College Tour

Saturday, November 2nd is our High School Field Trip to UNC Greensboro.

2019 School to Peace Pipeline Conference

Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Alexandra Zagbayou will be a keynote speaker for the School To Peace Pipeline 2019 Conference. This conference discusses how we can create positive school climates that support students’ ability to thrive socially, emotionally, and academically.


— Student U Blog —

Esmeralda Rodriguez, PhD
The Story of My Educational Awakening by Esmeralda Rodriguez, PhD
Education for the sake of upward mobility and financial success through higher education is not enough to transform a broken
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Returning to Student U
Muriel Smith shares what it means for her to return to Student U as our Program Director and the importance
Read more.
School to peace pipeline
Alexandra Zagbayou-Keynote speaker at School To Peace Pipeline
Alexandra Zagbayou will be a keynote speaker for the School To Peace Pipeline 2019 Conference. This conference discusses how we
Read more.