Student U Summer Internship Program

The High School Internship Program is a five-week summer program designed to expose students to a work environment, explore career interests, and provide them with the opportunity to gain professional and personal skills in a nurturing environment. Student U will host interns in-person on campus and will collaborate with community partners to place interns at off-campus locations for an in-person or virtual experience. The Student U internship program welcomes rising juniors and seniors to apply (current 10th and 11th graders). The internship program is competitive, and those who demonstrate clear interest, strong communication, maturity and other job-specific skills will be chosen to participate. Students who request to intern on-campus at Student U will be able to ride the bus to and from campus. Students interning off campus will have to arrange for their own transportation. Interns in their first summer will earn community service hours and valuable professional experience.  Students will receive over 100 community service hours and qualify for the Durham Mayor’s Award. This award can be listed on future resumes and applications.  Interns returning for a second summer have the opportunity to be paid.

Internship Requirements:


  • Priority Deadline: Friday, March 24th, 2023
  • Final Deadline (APPLICATION DUE DATE): Friday, March 31st, 2023
  • Internship Interview Dates: Saturday, April 22nd, 2023
  • Intern Orientation Date: Tuesday, June 20th, 2023
  • Internship Launch Date (Meet and Greet): Tuesday, June 20th, 2023
  • Selection & Placement: Students will know if they are accepted and where they are placed by May 5th, 2023
  • Internship Dates: June 26 – July 28, 2023 (Monday - Thursday you will be at your Internship and Fridays, you will be at Durham Academy receiving professional development training with Student U)
  • Presentations of Learning: July 27th, 2023

Summer Internship Sites:

  • Art of Problem Solving: Teaching Assistant
  • Book Harvest: Book Harvest Summer Intern
  • CISCO: High School Stem Externship
  • Department of Human Services, Data Office: Data Intern
  • Girls Rock: Summer Program Intern
  • The Hub Farm: Counselor In Training Intern
  • Kids Voting Durham, The Durham Cooperative: Civic Leadership Intern
  • Kidzu: Summer Camp Assistant & Makery and STEAM Associate
  • Legal Aid: Right to Education Project Student Intern
  • Little Medical School: Occupational Intern
  • Mad Kickz: Reseller Intern
  • Museum of Life and Science: Museum Intern
  • The Nasher Museum of Art: Summer Intern
  • OMG Lemonade: Business Intern
  • Piedmont Wildlife Center: Summer Camp Intern
  • Polanco Law: Summer Law Intern
  • We Are: We Are Summer Camp Intern
  • Weinstein Friedlein Architects: Design Apprentice
  • WinSPIRE: Student Researcher
  • Student U: Middle School Program Coordinator Intern
  • Student U: High School Program Coordinator Intern
  • Student U: Middle/High School T.A’s
  • Student U: Program Director Intern
  • Student U: Bilingual Families Advocate Intern
  • Student U: Bilingual Receptionist
  • Student U: Communications Intern
  • Student U: Healthy Foods Assistant

- High School Program -

School Year

During the school year, high school students are supported by someone from the High School Program's All Staff Team. Some 9th grade students will have an Academic Coach to help support them with Academic growth and organizational skills. Some 9th grade, all of 10th and 11th grade students will have an Advocate. In-school Advocates are teachers or guidance counselors employed by Durham Public Schools, and community Advocates are people in the community interested in supporting students through their high school experience. All 12th grade students will be supported by College Advisors. Students meet with their Academic Coach, Advocate, or College Advisor 1-2 times on a weekly basis. Parents and families should plan to meet with their child's Staff Member at least once a month. The All Staff Team communicates with program staff regularly and they work to connect families to resources when necessary. During the year high school students are also able to connect with a small group or one-on-one tutoring using our virtual tutoring platform.

Year-Round student support includes:

  • Weekly meetings: Students meet with their All Staff Member weekly to create individually tailored academic improvement plans based on student progress.
  • Monthly Cluster meetings: Students meet virtually on a monthly basis to grow their college-ready skills, career exploration, and build community among their peers.
  • Tutoring: Students are provided with tutoring opportunities throughout the year in order to support our students and help them be successful in school.
  • U-Prep Saturdays: Students and parents attend U-Prep days two-three times a year with the aim to provide interactive workshops for students and families with tips around succeeding in high school and preparing for college.

College Preparation

Over the course of the school year, high school students work closely with Student U’s College Readiness and Success Coordinator and her team of College Advisors. Students are exposed to a wide range of programming designed to help families plan, apply, and pay for college. Students participate in college tours, monthly College Bound 301 workshops, a college fair, and individual conferences to meet students’ needs.

The earlier curricula for ninth and tenth-grade students focus on academic preparation (e.g., learning at Summer Academy, building community service experience/leadership, preparing for standardized tests such as the ACT/SAT), while curricula for eleventh and twelfth-grade students focus on the college application process (e.g., writing college essays, choosing the “best fit” college, applying early to a wide range of schools, applying for scholarships/grants, and financing higher education).

College Prep student support:

  • College tours: Students are informed about college applications and enrollment decisions.
  • Monthly College Bound 301 workshops: Students attend workshops to identify colleges that would be the best fit for them, complete all college and scholarship applications and plan their transition to college on Monday evenings
  • College Fair: Students attend to learn more about colleges/universities from across the country to identify best fits for students.
  • Individual Conferences: The College Readiness and Success Coordinator plus College Advisors hosts individual conferences to meet students’ needs.
  • Test preparation: Students attend test preparation to prepare students for standardized testing such as the ACT/SAT.

- College Preparation - 

Preparing for college starts well before your senior year. As a college-bound student, you can use your high school career to build a strong college application.

- High School Opportunities - 

Apply for Student U’s Durham Rotary Centennial Scholarship

Student U’s Durham Rotary Centennial Scholarship is an award given to up to four graduating seniors who have demonstrated a commitment to service during their time in Student U. This scholarship will be awarded to students who have demonstrated the potential to succeed despite adversity as well as a desire to improve themselves through further education or training. The award is $1000 the first year ($500/semester) and is renewable for one additional year.

Apply for 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.


I can compare each of Student U’s high school graduates to astronauts in training. Graduating high school, like graduating from space school, is not what we are going to be remembered for. Similarly, success at Student U isn’t simply graduating. The success of Student U is truly measured by the impact students are creating outside of the Student U community. Student U will have our own Yuri Gagarin, our own Neil Armstrong, and our own Buzz Aldrin. We will have students who will be the first in the world to do something incredible. We will have students who, like astronauts, will be remembered forever for making their fearless dreams come true.”

– Francis DeLa Cruz, UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing Graduate