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