Opportunity Youth

Made in Durham’s Durham Futures initiative mobilizes community partners to align strategies that support “opportunity youth,” those who are disconnected from school and work.

The goal is to ensure 14-24 year-olds can earn high school diplomas or equivalent credentials and transition to and persist in a post-secondary degree or credentialing program that qualifies them for life-sustaining work.

Partners pilot academic and social supports for students who attend five alternative education programs: Achievement Academy of Durham, Gateway to College at Durham Technical Community College, Performance Learning Center at Durham Public Schools, Durham Literacy Center’s Youth Education Program and Life Skills Foundation.


Action Steps

  1. Pilot a support system for 250 opportunity youth who attend four alternative education programs.
  2. Develop and implement a strategy to reengage and serve disconnected youth.
  3. Pursue public policies that enable and support opportunity youth.


Achievement Academy of Durham

Duke Energy Foundation

Durham Literacy Center

Durham Public Schools

  • Performance Learning Center
  • Student Support Services

Durham Technical Community College

  • College and Career Readiness
  • Human Resource Department
  • Gateway to College

Life Skills Foundation

Next Gen/NC Works

N.C. Institute of Minority Economic Development

United Way of the Greater Triangle


Lorenza Wilkins
Senior Director of Programs and Operations

Dominique Oliver
Re-engagement Specialist

Deanna Knighton
Career Development Specialist



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Made in Durham is a community partnership of educators, business, government, youth-serving nonprofits and young people mobilized around a shared vision that all of Durham’s youth will complete high school and a post-secondary credential and begin a rewarding career by the age of 25.
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