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Whether through the arts, education, health care or food drives, Durham Academy alumni are reaching out to help others as COVID-19 is drastically changing life around the world. Below are just a few of the ways they are putting their varied talents to work. In next week's News & Notes, we'll feature several other alumni who are helping out in this crisis.

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DA moved online on March 18. At that time, we could not have predicted the many ways in which this pandemic would affect our students, families, faculty and staff. But our mission and community remain as vibrant as ever. We have not changed who we are, just where we are. 

Read More about Remote Learning at DA

Bernadette Cooper Vereen ’14 credits Durham Academy with equipping her with skills she has used to navigate college and the start of her career in maternal health and social work. Now a graduate student, she hopes to become a perinatal social worker and address racial disparities in childbirth outcomes, with an ultimate goal of opening a natural birthing center for low-income families.

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From the time Nina Varela ’13 learned to read and write, she knew she wanted to be a writer. She is grateful to the Durham Academy teachers who “who encouraged me and took my writing seriously — even when I didn’t.” Her debut novel, Crier’s War, was released in the fall, and now she’s finishing up edits for the sequel and outlining her third book. 

Read More about Nina Varela ’13

Durham Academy challenged Yates Sikes ’08 to think of different ways to problem solve. Now, as a mechanical engineer, he’s using that skill to innovate and modernize rail cars that impact riders in major cities across the U.S.

Read More about Yates Sikes ’08

DA grounded Emma Edwards ’08 with a strong work ethic. The math major decided to apply her mathematical background to engineering after researching wave energy, and had never taken an engineering class before she began her Ph.D. work at MIT. Edwards’ love for adventure has taken her to Scotland and Australia, and prompted her to shift from cycling as a means of transportation to participating in national championship races.

Read More about Emma Edwards ’08