Community & Government

Melinda’s Journal: Durham, North Carolina, 2009

Melinda French Gates

Lesson time 01:13 min

In this entry from her journal, Melinda describes her visit to a school in North Carolina where one student shares how he’s inspired to give back.

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Topics include: Melinda's Journal: Durham, North Carolina, 2009


[MUSIC PLAYING] - Durham, North Carolina. September, 2009 I'm so energized by the students I met today in Durham. Most of them have struggled to stay in school before coming to the Durham Performance Learning Center. But it offers two things they didn't have before, flexibility and support. Unlike traditional schools, there are no seat time requirements, and there's a huge focus on mentorship and advising. This model isn't for every student, but for the ones I met, it sure changed their lives. One senior told me he's the breadwinner for his family, so school always took a backseat to his job at a grocery store. But when he found his way to this program, he started dreaming of a bigger future. He even took a demotion at work, so he could concentrate on his studies. He said that one day, when he's able, he will return and he will, quote, "bless this school". This is what happens when we invest in communities like this one. So often they come back to give back.

About the Instructor

One of the greatest philanthropists in history, Melinda French Gates has dedicated her life to giving back to the world. Now she’s teaching how you can identify your own unique assets—time, money, specific skills, or even your voice to discover a strategic path that can turn your power into progress.

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Melinda French Gates

A philanthropist and advocate for women and girls, Melinda French Gates teaches you how to take what you’re good at and use it to create change.

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