2021 Young Scholars Capstone Celebration

Duke University’s Cook Center Holds 2021 Young Scholars’ Digital Capstone Conference

On July 26, 2021, the Duke University Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity hosted its Capstone Conference for the seventh annual Hank and Billye Suber Aaron Young Scholars Research Institute. Nearly 30 middle and high school students from Durham Public Schools—participants in the program for one, two, or three summers—convened to present the research they had conducted over the prior three weeks.

Each of the three cohorts had specific tasks related to the themes of the program, broadly centered around studying and analyzing social disparities. First-year students were responsible for producing digital media content, writing “I am” poems about who they were as researchers as well as essays surrounding topics of inequities. Second-year students crafted research posters and presented them digitally before responding to audience queries in Q+A sessions. Third-year students had the challenge of generating rigorous research papers, which they then summarized in a TED-style talk via Zoom. This year’s student projects ranged from studies on how solidarity confinement is a detriment to mental health, to investigations of the role that socioeconomic status (SES) has on suspension rates, to explorations of the realities of “revitalization” in Durham.

Keynote speaker Carrissa Dixon, a parent of a Young Scholars Alum, talked about the impact the Young Scholars Summer Program has had on her own child, who will begin attending North Carolina A&T State University on a full ride scholarship this fall.

See below for our scholars’ exceptional work!

2021 Young Scholars Graduates

The cohort three graduating Hank and Billye Aaron Young Scholars Summer Research Institute Scholars’ research papers are below:

Amelie Novio is a rising freshman at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is from Durham, North Carolina and enjoys drawing, listening to music, and volunteering. Her research is focused on the prison system and the negative impacts it has on inmates of color.

DeeAysia Albritton is a senior at hillside highschool. She likes traveling and learning about different cultures. She is passionate about gentrification and displacement because she sees the effects happening within Durham today and wants to make a difference.

Michael Jennings is a rising senior at Northern High School in Durham. He likes playing instruments and learning about art. His research is focused on how socioeconomic status impacts suspension rates in high schools. He is interested in this because he noticed a trend of unfair disciplinary measures in different schools.

2021 Cohort 2

The Scholars of cohort 2’s research posters are below:

2021 Cohort 1

The Scholars of cohort 1’s website is linked below:

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