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40 Durham students will graduate after help from nonprofit

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Casey Barr-Rios is one of 40 high school seniors graduating who participated in Student U, and organization that supports students through middle and high school. Casey Barr-Rios is one of 40 high school seniors graduating who participated in Student U, and organization that supports students through middle and high school.
DURHAM, N.C. -

A group of students together since sixth grade are college bound thanks in large part to a Durham organization.

Casey Barr-Rios is one of 40 high school seniors graduating this year who participated in Student U, and organization that supports students through middle and high school.

"The sense of accomplishment is that I have gone through all of the journey and the struggles, and Student U … has never given up on me," said Barr-Rios, who is graduating from J.D. Clement Early College High School.

All 40 started with the program in the sixth grade and all will graduate this spring before moving on to college.

"All students, regardless of where they come from, regardless of their background, have the capacity to succeed if supported," said Alexander Zagbayou, a high school program director for Student U.

The student will be the program’s first group to graduate high school and 83 percent of them will be the first in their families to go to college. They plan to announce their college plans during a ceremony this Sunday.

Student U will continue to help guide them through college.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

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