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

Former Student U student Langston Whitlock was named the youngest ever Forbes 30 under 30 for his SafeTrip app! He coded his first anonymous messaging app at 12. His Atlanta-based healthcare transportation mobile app enables users to book non-emergency medical transport (NEMT) and emergency medical transport (EMT).

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 —

Apply To Be Our Program Director

We are hiring for a newly created Program Director position. This position will be responsible for overseeing Student U’s direct programs with students and families. This covers our middle, high school and college programs which support 550 students and families every year through a combination of our school year, after school and in school programs and summer academies and academic enrichment opportunities. Consider joining our full-time team.

2019 Decision Day

Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 4 pm. Join us at Decision Day as we celebrate the choices our students have made for their college experience. This will be Student U’s sixth class of high school graduates that will transition into the College Promise Program. As a community, we will continue supporting them in the next phase of their journeys and empowering them to be the change they wish to see in the world.


— What's New with Student U —

  • Youth Voice Festival – Durham Youth Commission

    Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 4:30 pm at The W.G. Pearson Center. Lighting the way to imagining Durham’s next 150 years. Register for event at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/youthvoice-festival-tickets-58739655892. The Durham Youth Commission is hosting the 2019 Youth Voice Festival; an opportunity for youth in Durham to celebrate......

  • Town Hall on School Safety – Youth Justice Project

    Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 10:00 am at The W.G. Pearson Center. Too often, conversations about school safety do not include the voices of students. To help change that, the Youth Justice Project’s Steering Committee is hosting a student-centered discussion on school safety and discipline......

  • Family Day 2019

    Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 10:00 am at Durham Academy Middle School. At this event, students will get to meet their teachers, select their elective classes for the summer, and sign up for transportation. This event is mandatory for all rising 6th-10th grade students and families....