Polished Pebbles Experience from Tyler Johnson

Hear from Tyler Johnson as she shares a snippet of her Polished Pebbles experience…

During our 1st Duke University Polished Pebbles’ WOC Women’s Panel, I had the opportunity to network with many female professionals & entrepreneurs including Ms. Fransine Sanchez. “Frankie” is a Holistic Health Practitioner who is on a mission to change Durham, “the city of medicine” into “the city of health”. Immediately, I felt a connection with Ms. Sanchez as we both shared a passion for helping others and building careers in the medical field!

A few weeks after the panel, Ms. Sanchez scheduled a job shadowing opportunity with Dr. Chilukuri of Durham Family Medicine! This was a truly influential and rewarding experience that I would not have been able to master without the assistance of Polished Pebbles. I am extremely grateful for this connection because it was the first time I’ve ever done a job shadow! This event furthermore confirmed my desire pursue my dreams and I anticipate the future impact I will have in the medical field. I want to thank my Polished Pebbles Mentors!

Written by,

Tyler Johnson


And That’s A Wrap

Our 2016-2017 programming session at Duke University has come to a close. We loved getting to know the wonderful women that joined our College Edition of Polished Pebbles. By building relationships with one another, they have found support and guidance whether they were in their first or final year at Duke University.

Recently our Duke women were able to hear from Ascena Retail Group to learn how to “Dress for Success”!

Ascena Retail Event

Our wrap up event began with professional makeup and photos for our women to have quality headshots for future endeavors. We sometimes forget the importance of a first impression, especially when applying for jobs, internships, fellowships, or study programs. Don’t let your social media be their first look at you! Have professional and quality headshots on hand. While preparing they asked themselves:

  • Do I have a professional wardrobe?
  • What image do I want to project to employers?
  • What does my social media presence say about me?

Look at them getting all dolled up and smiling for the camera!

Duke Headshots Event.png

Finally, the Duke Polished Pebbles team paid forward their mentoring by speaking to a group of middle school girls. They spoke on topics such as preparing for college and bullying. It was a wonderful opportunity to remember that we are all mentees and mentors!

Duke University Mentoring.png

Our College Pebbles: Meet Cyan DeVeaux

Hey everyone!

My name is Cyan and I am currently a freshman here at Duke. I’m from New York so I’m a bit far from home, but my experiences at Duke make it worth the travel. What I really love about my school, and part of my decision to come here, had to do with all of the opportunities that are offered. I came here telling myself to take advantage of the resources that I have while I can.

Toward the beginning of the school year, I’d spend time scrolling through our “Official Duke Class of 2020” page to see if any of the activities people have posted about sparked my interest. I stumbled upon a post for an application to the Polished Pebbles program. After reading through what the program was about, it seemed like something that I could benefit from. Coming from a school district made predominantly up of students of color has made attending a PWI a bit of a transition for me. It was also pretty daunting being at a prestigious institution where almost everyone seems to exude “effortless perfection”. Polished Pebbles seemed like an opportunity to help me navigate my four years here as well as gain confidence in myself. And so far, it has done just that.

For starters, the other students within this program are amazing. There are upperclassmen who offer great advice from the perspective of students who have been in my position. There are people my age who are going through similar things as me, such as figuring out a major. And finally there are the powerful adults who make this happen. Kelly and Brittney have taught me so much despite the fact we meet only every so often. They have a genuine interest in cultivating all of their Polished Pebbles. What’s great about experiences like this is that what I’ve learned at our session will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Written by,

Cyan DeVeaux



Welcome to Our Blog!

We are the Polished Pebbles at Duke University and we want to welcome you to our blog!

What a great semester it has been so far! The Polished Pebbles mentorship program at Duke University kicked off this year with a wonderful group of women of color spanning all four years at Duke and from a variety of backgrounds, all coming together with one purpose in mind—success at Duke and beyond. In collaboration with the Duke Women’s Center, we were welcomed to this year’s cohort with a networking event featuring food from all of our cultural backgrounds. We got a chance to meet and mingle with various Duke faculty and staff, all of whom who can help ensure their success at the institution. Following the mixer, we learned more about Polished Pebbles and also discussed some of the challenges we have faced as women of color on campus.  Most helpful of all, we also began thinking about our own Internal and External LinkedIn Profiles and worked through our goals and achievements this academic year.

Final exams season is approaching and we’re all a bit bogged down, but we are all very excited to get to work next semester. We look forward to using this blog to share out stories and working with the Durham community to empower other young women and girls of color.

Duke’s first class of Polished Pebbles wishes you a happy holiday season and we can’t wait for you to see what we have in store for the spring!


Written by, Alexandria Miller