Middle School Opportunities

Join Student U

Student U walks with students and families from sixth grade through college, providing holistic support at each step along the way. We believe that education plays a critical role in giving our students the tools and opportunities they need to activate their agency.

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.

We are committed to walking with our students and their parents on their journey through college and beyond to reach our ultimate goal. Students are nominated as fifth graders by Durham Public School guidance counselors, teachers, and community members to apply for Student U. Students are selected through a lottery to become the newest dreamers. Students who are rising sixth graders who will be first in their families to attend college and/or students who qualify for free or reduced lunch should apply.

Youth Savings Program

Student U is partnering with the Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU) to open College Savings Accounts for all of our middle school students. We want our students to be academically and financially prepared for college! As a part of this program, students may open a savings account with LCCU and deposit money into their account.

High School Opportunities

The Creative Mentorship Program with the Durham Arts Guild

The Creative Mentorship Program is a partnership between Student U and the Durham Art Guild, enables students to develop their artistic ability and unique creative voice. This 20-week program gives students the opportunity to develop their artistic skills under the mentorship of a local artist, participate in monthly field trips to arts organizations and museums in the area. The program culminates in a collaborative exhibit of student work at the Room 100 Gallery at Golden Belt Art Studios. Student participants may work in a variety of media including, but not limited to, painting, printmaking, photography, drawing, graphic design, sculpture and fiber arts (sewing, knitting, and weaving).

Past art experience is not required. All high school students with an interest in the program and the visual arts are encouraged to apply for this opportunity. Good candidates will be able to express their interest in the arts and their commitment to the program. We select 5 Student U students to participate in the fall.


Each summer, Student U rising Juniors and Seniors apply to intern at various local non-profits and businesses that align with their career interests. Internship placements include Girls Rock!, El Centro Hispano, The Animal Protection Society, Museum of Life and Science, and Student U. All interns participate in professional development workshops on Fridays and second-year interns are paid for their service.

College Opportunities

Student U Leadership Fellowship: Promise Keepers for College Persistence

In addition to a strong focus on connecting students to resources and supports at the colleges they attend, Student U hires its own experienced college students as College Fellows, who are paid to mentor and support the younger college students on their campuses.