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Virtual Tutoring

We are offering virtual tutoring on an as-needed basis for students who cannot come to our building but still need support. If requested, students will be paired with a tutor on Mondays and Wednesdays between 5:00-7:00. Please fill out the form below if you need virtual tutoring assistance, and Alex Lowe will be contacting you with more information. 

Ask Your Questions and Share Your Feedback

Virtual tutoring for both middle school and high school starts on September 11th. The new schedule is Monday and Wednesday from 5 – 7 pm for both. All Student U high school students are required to connect to tutoring at least once a week. Middle School students will participate mainly with in-person tutoring at YRP.  If Middle School students can not meet us in person, please join via zoom.  To view the schedule or to access the zoom link, please see the schedule below. If you have any questions, please contact our Tutor Coordinator Keren Sosa at keren.sosa@studentudurham.org.

Student U Program Participation and Opportunities

Middle School

During the school year after-school program runs Monday through Thursday from 3:30 – 6:30 pm. You can view the calendar of events for the school year here.

During the summer, our Summer Academy runs Monday through Friday from 8 am – 4 pm for five weeks. You can view the calendar of events for Summer Academy here.

All students are expected to attend daily programming unless they have another after-school commitment (sport, club, etc.).

This year the goal is for every student to attends YRP: 

  • 36 out of 46 days by December 7, 2023
  • 61  out of 83 days by March 21, 2024
  • 86 out of 109 days by May 16, 2024

If your student will be absent longer than 3 consecutive days, please complete an extended absence form.

During the school year DPS buses pick up students from their schools and drop them off at The W.G. Pearson Center. Parent pick-up is from 6:15 pm – 6:45 pm. Dismissal transportation is NOT provided from programming at The W.G. Pearson Center. Parents or guardians must pick up.

During Summer Academy, bus transportation is available for both drop-off and pick-up. If students are not picked up within five minutes, they will be driven back to Durham Academy, where they will need to be picked up. Families who select bus transportation will receive an exact timed schedule. Parent drop-off is from 7:45 am – 8:10 am and parent pick-up at from 3:50 pm.

For short-term special circumstances, please contact Karla Fernandez at karla.fernandez@studentudurham.org

We are committed to working together to support your children through middle school, high school, and college. It is now time to prepare for the next part of our journey together – high school.

High School

During the school year, all students  their weekly check-in with their Student U point person and attend weekly tutoring. Once a month they will attend one cluster meeting (Virtual or in person) and NavigateU (post-high school graduate workshop series). In addition, both parents and students attend one U-Prep Day a semester. Students will also attend one community day and participate in at least one personal enrichment activity a year. You can view the calendar of events for the school year here.

During the summer, our rising ninth and rising tenth grade students participate in Summer Academy and our rising eleventh and twelfth grade students participate in the Internship Program.  Summer Academy runs Monday through Friday from 8 am – 4 pm for five weeks. Students should miss no more than 3 days during the summer. You can view the calendar of events for the Summer Academy here.

The Internship Program runs for five weeks during the summer.  More information about the Internship Program is included below under opportunities.

All students are expected to attend programming unless they are excused due to illness or emergency. Uncommunicated absences will be marked as unexcused. Student participation will be associated with points every year.  The points qualify students to participate in additional activities such as the Big Field Trip, raffles, and access to social activities throughout the year.  Student participation requirements can be found here. See the participation point system.

During the school year, students who attend DPS are provided transportation from their school to the WG Pearson Center on programming days.Parent pick-up is at 7:00pm.pm. Bus transportation is NOT provided from programming at The W.G. Pearson Center. Parents or guardians must pick up.

During Summer Academy, bus transportation is available at satellite stops in Durham for both daily drop-off and pick-up.  If students are not picked up within five minutes, they will be driven back to Durham Academy, where they will need to be picked up. Families who select bus transportation will receive an exact timed schedule. Parent drop-off is from 7:45 am – 8:10 am and parent pick-up at  3:50 pm.

For short-term special circumstances, please contact Karla Fernandez at karla.fernandez@studentudurham.org

Summer Internship Program

The High School Internship Program is a five-week summer program designed to help students explore their career interests, expose students to different work environments, 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 selected 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. All students should register as Durham volunteers on this website before beginning their internship.  This award can be listed on future resumes and applications.  Interns returning for a second summer have the opportunity to be paid. Applications open in 2024.

The Creative Mentorship Program with the Durham Arts Guild

The Creative Mentorship Program is a partnership between Student U and the Durham Art Guild that occurs in the spring of each year.  The CMP 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, and participate in monthly field trips to arts organizations and museums in the area. Apply here.

S.E.E. Mentorship Program

The S.E.E. Mentorship Program is for students interested in owning and running their own business in the future. They will be paired with a Duke Fuqua School of Business student to create their business plan from start to finish. Apply here. 

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. Over the course of the school year, high school students work closely with Student U’s College Readiness and Success Team. Students are exposed to a wide range of programming designed to help families plan, apply, and pay for college. Students participate in college tours, DYE post-high school graduate workshops, a college fair, and individual conferences to meet students’ needs. Below you will find upcoming college preparation events and resources for scholarships and financial aid.

Durham Rotary Centennial Scholarship

  1. Student U’s Durham Rotary Centennial Scholarship is an award given to up to three 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 for the first year ($500/semester) and is renewable for one additional year. Apply here.

Energize Your Community Scholarship

Be the Change Book Stipend

College

During the school year, college students are supported through hybrid workshops, individual check-ins, topic-focused retreats, and connections to on and off campus resources for each student.

During the summer, college students are supported with a retreat, social event, and individual meetings as needed.

You can view the calendar of events for the year here.

After Decision Day, our recent high school graduates will automatically enter into the College Promise Program. The minimum expectations for their first semester in the program include:

  • Attending Summer Series and the Summer Retreat
  • Participating in at least three fall check-ins
  • Participating in their on-campus visit when relevant
  • Attending the Winter Retreat

After the first semester, first-year students will have the opportunity to opt-in or opt-out of the College Promise program. This centers on student autonomy in terms of how they want to be connected to Student U and the nature of direct support needed, if any. For those that opt-in, the minimum expectations for their second semester in the program include:

  • Attending Winter Retreat
  • Participating in at least two Spring check-ins
  • Completing one remaining program requirement (options include virtual clusters or attending Summer Sendoff)

At the end of each academic year, all students will have the opportunity to opt-in or opt-out. This invitation to either recommit to College Promise programming or embrace a new form of connection with Student U as a full alum centers on student autonomy and recognizes the changing needs and desires that students experience in their lives. There is no judgment or value placed on an “opt-in” or “opt-out.” Both are choices that will be honored and supported.

For students that opt-in, their engagement expectations place a greater emphasis on cluster participation and general professional development.

Summer Retreat Peer Leaders

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 to serve as Peer Leaders during the Summer Retreat. Applications open in 2024.

View a full list of Scholarships

Student and Family Support Services

Throughout the year families and students have opportunities to develop skills to keep themselves socially, emotionally, mentally, and physically well. Student U works to build community among students as a place where they are affirmed to be the best version of themselves and develop a positive personal identity. You can view the calendar of events for the school year here.

Ashley Peters, LCSW is our Director of Student and Family Support Services. Student U believes that emotional resilience and wellness are necessary for success in school and in life. We provide a range of services that promote coping skills and healing and contribute to the social and emotional health of our community. These services include individual, group, and family counseling, student support fund, and connecting families to community resources. It is important to note these services are confidential and offered at no cost to families. They can occur in the community or the Student U office. You can contact Ms. Ashley at ashley.peters@studentudurham.org or 919-590-9258.

Confidential Referral for Counseling
Referencia Confidencial para consejería
Student Self-Referral for Counseling

Alex Turner, is our Director of Academic Support. Ms. Alex’s primary responsibility is to ensure Student U programming, instruction, and curriculum are designed to build the academic, execution function, and personal skills students need to thrive. She works with individual students and their support teams to brainstorm and implement additional academic support. In addition, she supports our students and families as they navigate IEP/504 processes in school. She also makes sure our students have access to excellent books. You can contact Ms. Alex at alex.lowe@studentudurham.org or 919-797-9329. You can also sign up for a 30-minute Zoom meeting to meet or brainstorm with Ms. Alex on Calendly!

Confidential Referral for Academic Support
Referencia Confidencial para recibir apoyo académico
Student Self-Referral for Academic Support

Andrea Rodriguez, is our Associate Director of Student and Family Support Services. Andrea’s primary responsibility is to design, implement and evaluate family programming and advocacy, through building community with families and leveraging community partnerships. Andrea hopes to create programs that will support the needs of families and provide opportunities for family leadership and advocacy. Feel free to text or call Andrea at 919-679-1998.

Markeytta Witherspoon is our Families Advocate. Ms. Markeytta connects families to the Student U community. She encourages families to connect with her if they have any questions about Student U programming, a student’s public school, or need support or resources in the community. You can contact Ms. Markeytta at markeytta.witherspoon@studentudurham.org or 919-283-2817.

Carmen Valdez is our Bilingual Families Advocate. Ms. Carmen connects Spanish-speaking families to the Student U community. She can also provide interpretation services and support at a student’s school. She encourages families to connect with her if they have any questions about Student U programming, a student’s public school, or need support or resources in the community. You can contact Ms. Carmen at carmen.valdez@studentudurham.org or 919-964-0371.

Staff Spanish Assistance Form

Parent Programming Opportunities and Community Resources

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