“It was inspiring to hear them talk about how they were going to work as hard as they could in the upcoming years to attend a school like Duke. It also made me realize, once again, how lucky I am to have the opportunity to be a student-athlete at an elite institution, because some talented student-athletes are not so lucky.” – Sarah Furey, Field Hockey
Duke Student-Athletes Help Hart Middle School Students Enjoy Duke Experience
On February 2nd and 3rd, eight students from Hart Middle School in Washington, DC visited Duke’s campus via an educational enrichment program provided by the Brian K. Betts Foundation (BKB). The BKB Foundation continues the legacy of Brian K. Betts, a passionate advocate for children’s education, through its College Connection Program. BKB’s College Connection Program brings middle school students from underprivileged communities to visit university campuses across the east coast. This program is designed to inspire students to strive for excellence and to better appreciate the importance of education. The 5th annual BKB College Connection program included a campus visit to Duke.
The eight Hart Middle School students were Albert Ashford, Steffen Braithewaite, Miracle Moody, Tyler Parrish, Melody Prince, Antawan Robles, and Wayne Rhodes. They traveled to Durham on Thursday morning with two counselors from Hart Middle School, Lisa Aleshire and Barrington Brown. They began the trip with tours of the K Center and the Duke Hall Of Fame to learn about the history of Duke Athletics. They made their way across campus to the Duke Immersive Virtual Environment (DiVE), located in the Engineering Quad, for a visit to the virtual reality room. Antawan Robles, who is interested in Robotics and Computer Engineering, stated that he, “enjoyed the virtual reality room although it felt weird being in there and feeling like you are flying around—it was fun”.
After the visit to the DiVE, the Hart Middle School students met with their student-athlete mentors: Alyssa Chillano (Field Hockey), Keyston Fuller (Football), Sarah Furey (Field Hockey), Quentin Harris (Football), Tracey Jander (Track), Jaylen Miller (Football), Chris Taylor (Football), and Jordan Tucker (Volleyball) for dinner in the new Blue Devil Tower, where all student-athletes are hosted for training table Monday through Thursday.
Tracy Jander, a freshman on the Duke track team, remarked, “I loved getting to see the excitement the kids had on their visit. It reminded me of how excited I was when I came to visit Duke and how privileged I am to be at one of the best universities.” The day came to a conclusion after the group and their mentors cheered on the Duke Women’s basketball team to a victory over Clemson in Cameron Indoor Stadium (65-37).
The next day began bright and early on Friday morning as they kicked off the day with a meeting with Sam Carpenter from the Duke University Admissions Office. Mr. Carpenter discussed with the group what the admissions process is like for prospective students, and what it would take to attend Duke University. The group then took a tour of the Yoh Football Center, where they met former Duke Football All-American, Devon Edwards. Afterwards, they received a tour of the Innovation Co-Lab Studio, where they were shown how 3D-printed models are developed and produced. Mitchell Green, the lab manager, gave the group a tour as they learned some of the practical uses of 3D-printing such as creating a light holder for your bike or developing a book bag hanger.
After the tour of the Innovation Co-Lab Studio the Hart Middle School students attended lunch with Jordan Burton (Track), Ellyse Hamlin (Women’s Tennis), Bella Miller (Rowing), Michelle Staggers (Women’s Lacrosse), and Alyssa Smith (Women’s Tennis) in the West Union Dinning Hall. They finished the trip by pushing their physical and mental boundaries by climbing the Rock Wall in the Wilson Center.
After an awesome two days of exploring Duke University, the Hart Middle School students returned to their Washington, DC homes on Friday afternoon.
To donate to the BKB Foundation, please visit www.bkbfoundation.com.