Hi everyone I’m Canshu! Since the end of May, I have been working with DERC for four weeks. DERC is starting a new program with Durham Literacy Center and Urban Ministries to provide literacy/GED (General Education Development) tutoring and job training for people in the community who cannot get a job due to their lack of high school diploma. During our recruiting process, we get the opportunity to learn more about the education and employment situation in Durham and how much people have done to provide opportunities for those people without higher education.
In order to learn more about this community and find a place to start our recruitment, we met with different organizations for more information and advice. I was surprised to learn that nearly 13% of the population in Durham does not have a high school diploma and some of them have reading levels lower than 6th grade. With educational institutions like Duke in town, it is hard to imagine that there is such a large portion of the population who cannot find a job or get a promotion because of the education barriers. Spending most of my time on Duke Campus, I haven’t really thought about the huge gap of the educational and employment opportunities between Duke students and people in the community.
However, I’m also moved by how this community is trying to help those people who did not have the opportunity for education. DERC is a really good example of the organizations who want to solve the educational and employment problems in Durham. Instead of just provide people with economic support, these organizations are seeking ways to solve the poverty problems in Durham in a better way. After education and job training, trainees can get their own jobs and be able to create a future for themselves. With the efforts of the organizations and people here, I believe that Durham is going to become a better community and keep giving new hopes as well as opportunities to its member.