IMAGINE . . . Leading by Example!

Academic Life

The participants in Duke IMAGINE have a unique opportunity. They will establish a foundation for a lifetime of leadership by developing their abilities and directing their passions toward improving the world around them, one community at a time. Engaging curriculum and lessons on how to channel enthusiasm into results that campers can take back to their hometowns and schools will help develop the root system and strength of Duke IMAGINE for the years to follow. This program targets the needs of motivated, passionate, conscientious students who want to have a positive impact on the world around them.

Classes will be academically challenging and will focus on enhancing and expanding participants’ awareness and interest in the greater society.  At the same time, students will be given maximum opportunity and will be nurtured in the course of applying theories and concepts to their particular interests.  Participants will meet each day with their assigned primary instructor to explore solutions to local, national and global issues through case studies. They will be encouraged to consider the implications of their decisions—political, ethical, and social. During the afternoon caucus, participants and staff will meet together for further dialogue and discussions of the topics. To enhance their experience, guest speakers will be invited to address the participants. This two-week workshop will give participants the tools, the encouragement, and the freedom to explore their interests in the community and larger world around them with confidence and a sense of belonging. Our learning environment will be supportive, inspiring, and interactive.

Campers are expected to participate fully in class and to complete assignments on time.  Class projects will focus on social issues that are of most concern to students and on issues that they will engage with in the foreseeable future; such as, global warming, environmental issues, economic disparity, health care, immigration, individual rights and responsibilities, church and state issues, political organization and reform, poverty, homelessness, education, and other issues impacting young adults.  Projects may include service opportunities at Duke and in Durham which can provide models to be taken back and applied in students’ home communities, audio-visual documentation, journalistic accounts of services and lessons learned, podcasts, and of course, great ideas, enthusiasm, and knowledge for making a difference.  Students will have input into where their ideals and passions drive them. Out-of-class work is frequently assigned for upcoming class activities.

Although assignments are not graded, each camper receives written and verbal feedback on their work. Following the completion of the session, students will take home a portfolio documenting their work.  The portfolio will provide a base to build on in their home communities and will be useful in sharing their efforts with prospective colleges, families, friends, teachers, clergy, and others. Summative written evaluations are emailed to parents and campers.