Alumni News

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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For Margaret Jones ’99, every day of work is “filled with promise” as she helps patients with neurologic injury to regain quality of life and independence. Her work has taken her to cities around the country, and along the way, she’s visited all 50 states.

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