Volunteers needed for virtual School Days, 11/5

On Friday morning, November 5, you will have a chance to make your own mark by helping Durham 8th graders take important steps toward being the first member of their family to attend college . . . opening up new options for their futures.

In a Nutshell

When:  Friday, November 5

Time:  9 – 10:15 AM

What:  Staff escort for first generation Durham 8th graders visiting Duke

Sign up: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4VdroLrXx2vMyz3

Duke has made a major commitment to admitting and supporting Durham First Gen students.  Part of that commitment has been helping build the pipeline by reaching out to 8th graders.  In the spring, they select their high school courses of study. If they don’t sign up for college-bound courses then, it will be hard to shift into it later.

We normally bring them to Duke for a day, but this year it will be virtual. The students will be together at their schools making the logistics a lot easier.

School Days, now in its 21st year, is one of the most successful programs bringing the Durham and Duke communities together.  And it takes a community of 80 Duke staff members to create the kind of experience that will change the lives of these 300 Durham Public School 8th graders when they visit Duke virtually on Friday, November 5.

We need your help to make this experience a success!  The 8th graders are organized into groups of 10 students with two school counselors and two Duke student guides.  (Many of the school counselors are veterans of School Days, including one who has been doing it all 20 years!)  In addition, we have two Duke staff escorts per group.  You don’t have to be an expert on Duke or its history to be a staff escort – just a willingness to ask the students questions, be upbeat, and help keep the group moving on their customized schedule.  And you’ll have a chance to virtually visit parts of Duke you may never have seen before!

We will be able to virtually drop in on different classes without causing any disruption, experience the excitement of Cameron during a game, and “drive” the Duke Motorsports racing car. You can see the full range of experiences in the schedule posted below.

We will be providing an optional virtual training session for everyone on November 1, the Monday before the event. As a bonus, staff escorts are invited to a fun, in-person campus exploration of hidden Duke history, including a pizza lunch, on Wednesday, November 3.

Our t-shirts will be back in production, this time with an augmented reality component tied to the theme of “Never Give Up.” The shirts are going to be collector’s items!

We hope you will join us on this adventure. Please click here to sign up to participate in our virtual School Days as a staff escort.

School Days Schedule for November 5, 2021


  • Welcome
  • Duke basketball player with message from Cameron Indoor Stadium
  • VP Stelfanie Williams to greet from Julian Abele Quad
  • Virtual tour orientation


  • Break out groups with Duke student
  • Virtual tour
  • Visit a class
  • Tour a research lab (Duke Motorsports, Physics, Undergraduate Nuclear Lab, Research Greenhouse carnivorous plants, Surgical Training Lab, CoLab)


  • Breakout groups for residence hall visits (live)
  • Tour of NCCU residence hall common spaces
  • Zoom with Duke student from a residence hall to see room and ask questions


  • Research participation
  • Survival of the Fittest or Friendliest video
  • Professor Brian Hare from the Canine Cognition Lab  (live)


  • Virtual performance with DefMo


  • Admissions talk
  • President of Paul Quinn College


  • Close out with Michelle Obama video


  • Program end