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 —

Applications are open for our Summer Academy teachers!

We are very excited to announce that we are hiring for paid summer teaching positions at Student U during Summer 2020! Student U teachers work full-time in the summer, creating lesson plans, teaching their own classes and working collaboratively with other teachers to engage and inspire students.

Preferred Deadline: Friday, January 3rd, 2020
Final Deadline: Friday, January 31st, 2020

Restorative Practices in Education: Mindset, Theory, Practice

March 5-6, 2020 at The W.G. Pearson Center

Student U and Peaceful Schools NC are partnering to bring you a day and a half of Restorative Practices training. A full-day training on March 6 will support educators in confidently using a restorative model with students. Principals, administrators, and school leaders are invited to join us for a half-day workshop on March 5 focusing on both mindset and infrastructure that will allow Restorative Practices to thrive within a school.


— Student U Blog —

The Restorative Practices Framework
As youth workers, we have a responsibility to respond to mistakes and instances of harm in a firm and gracious
Read more.
Youth Work 101: Growth Mindset
Many of our students believe they can or can not do something based on their current ability, and sometimes they
Read more.
Join Us In Celebrating 2019
As you enter this season of reflection, we invite you to pause and join us in celebrating some truly incredible
Read more.