Student U’s goals are to prepare more low-income, minority pupils to graduate from high school, enroll in college and graduate. Student U’s first class of 50 students and 16 teachers began the summer of 2007. They created a pipeline of services to support them and provide direct services after school and in the summer. Student U engages students and their families to promote achievement and well-being. "We want to see a Durham where all kids can succeed. We are helping students discover their best selves so they can change the system around them," said Dan Kimberg, Student U’s founder and director of advancement.
The mentorship program works with kids, beginning in sixth grade, at 18 middle schools and 12 high schools in Durham. The Student U school-year and summer programs have established successful collaborations with Durham Public Schools, Durham Academy, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina Central University, Duke University, and others.
A Biddle Foundation grant helped Student U increase the number of High School Internships for the Summer Academy. Students engaged in professional development and supervision throughout the experience, and they tutored and served as motivation for middle school students attending the Summer Academy. Additionally, the College Promise Advisor Program expanded. Student U college students act as peer role models for ninth- and tenth-graders preparing for careers and college.