A Student U Wedding

Posted by on Aug 8, 2013 in Durham, General | No Comments

R&I 14

Allow me to indulge for a minute in a longer-than-usual explanation for this video.

Four years ago, not long after moving to Durham from the small town of Gaston in rural, eastern North Carolina, I stumbled upon an organization called Student U.  Modeled after a national organization called Breakthrough Collaborative, they work every summer (and during the school year) to build community and academic skills for students in Durham.  Student U has grown each year, and now serves students in grades 6-12 from a collection of schools in the area.  Their impact was large from year one, but has continued to grow both in number of students served as well as the reach of the impact they are able to make on each student.

I was lucky enough to work for Student U for two summers, and continue to be in awe.  Of their work, of their drive, and possibly most of all, their community.  Dan Kimberg founded Student U, along with his now wife, Amanda Kimberg, in their junior and senior years of college at Duke University.  While Duke students often get a bad rap for coming down south for school and immediately leaving, these two have certainly flipped that idea on its head.  And have since inspired many other college students to do the same.

You see, the thing that is most impressive to me about Student U is its leadership.  Dan has an incredibly rare skill of intentionally and genuinely building the most incredible community of people, and educators, I’ve ever come across.  He takes current college students, trains them to teach for the summer, and does it in a way that now many of the alumni are still incredibly involved with the program, and remain in the world of education.  In fact, it’s pretty hard not to stay involved.

All of this is a little bit of context as to why I felt so lucky to film two of their staff members’ wedding this summer.  And why I created a surprise video showing the love and friendship that is built through this incredible program. Radhika & Ian met through Student U, both continue to work at Student U, and remain a huge part of that community.  So while an official wedding highlight is yet to come, here’s a special little edit I put together to celebrate the Student U community of educators.

With so much appreciation for all you do for Durham (and the world),

Your biggest fan.

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