Sharing Our Brilliance and Stories of Hope Stories

We know our secret sauce is the amazing people in our community. We want you to get to know the incredible students and parents we get to journey with and the staff and volunteers who support our journey.

Donald is a High School Graduate as part of the Class of 2020. His dream is to rebuild Durham to make it affordable for people already living in this community. Donald has a goal to buy a piece of real estate and graduate physical therapy school by the time he is 21.

Joy has been with Student U since the beginning. She joined our community in 2007 as a member of our first class of students, and it has been home for her ever since. She graduated from NC A&T with her Bachelor’s in Social Work and is now striving towards greatness as she is about to graduate from her Social Work Master’s Program.

Ms. Muriel Smith is our Program Director with a fierce passion for education. When she enters a room, she lights up the room with joy, radiating positivity through her echoing laugh. Her desire to uplift her community is contagious. In her role as our Program Director, she is charting the future of Student U to ensure students have more opportunities than they do today. 


Bria Davenport is our Middle School Coordinator Assistant. Known for her trend-setting fashion choices and strong organization systems, every day she greets students with a warm smile. Bria is the glue that holds all of the pieces of our programming together and bonds our students through her activities to build a united community.



Niadiquay Everette, a Student U alumna, embodies the essence of who we have been, who we’re becoming, and what we believe is possible. Niadiquay is the first in her family to graduate college. She used the power of education and her voice to achieve greatness. Now in the classroom, she is changing the learning environment to ensure one day all students succeed in college and beyond.


Danielle Evans just graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill this spring with a degree in Management and Society. She is a first-generation college graduate who joined Student U as a shy sixth-grader in 2010 and has grown into a confident professional as the Student U Grant Administration Intern, where she works on our finances and human resources team. Through this position, she has found her passion for helping others and is now looking for more professional experience in human resources before applying to graduate school.  Her ultimate goal is to lift up her community through her work in Non-Profit and Human Resources Management.