College Advising Corps

Apply to Duke CAC

2024-25 Application Open Now [Priority Deadline – 2/4/2024 | Regular Deadline 3/17/2024]

“Every year hundreds of thousands of low-income students face barriers to college access and success. Low-income students often lack the guidance and support they need to prepare for college, apply to the best-fit schools, apply for financial aid, enroll and persist in their studies, and ultimately graduate.”


About our Program

The College Advising Corps (CAC) at Duke University works to increase the number of low-income, First Generation College and underrepresented high school students in rural North Carolina who enter and complete higher education. Duke currently has 18 college advisers in central North Carolina high schools. The program is sponsored by the John M. Belk Foundation, AmeriCorps, The Anonymous Trust and The Duke Endowment.

Even many of the highest-achieving disadvantaged students — young men and women who are well qualified to continue their education beyond high school — do not consider attending a four-year college, and many who say they plan to apply, never do. The national student-to-guidance-counselor ratio of 467:1 means that the average student spends 20 minutes per year talking to his or her counselor. Moreover, low-income and first-generation students are particularly underserved, with many never seeing a college adviser.

Our Advising Model
  • Emphasizes a near-peer model so advisers are close in age to the students they serve.
  • Works in partnership with colleges and universities across the state, drawing on their infrastructure and resources.
  • Serves the whole high school, rather than a cohort of particular students, to foster a school-wide college-going culture.
  • Participate in a national external evaluation to quantitatively measure outcomes and qualitative results.
  • Focuses on best-fit colleges, encouraging students to attend schools that will serve them well both academically and socially.
Program Eligibility

In order to comply with the National College Advising Corps “near-peer” advising model, all adviser candidates must meet these requirements in order to be considered for employment:

  • Advisers should have a successful academic record.
  • Advisers are hired for a one-year service commitment with an option to be re-hired for a second year. Advisers cannot serve with the Advising Corps for more than two years.
  • Advisers must demonstrate a commitment to public service as evidenced by previous work in the community and/or among the targeted populations.
  • Duke advisers receive intensive training before serving in a high school, completing a five-week practical curriculum that focuses on college access, college admissions, financial aid, student services, diversity, community service, and professionalism.
Partner High Schools

Meet Our Advisers

Caswell County

Jynna Perry

Hello everyone, my name is Jynna! I am a first generation college graduate from Roxboro, NC. I graduated from the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Going to college was an amazing experience and piece of my life I will never forget. I enjoy working with students and I’m and very passionate about being a college advisor. This role hits home for me because I had an advisor who made a lasting impression on me and helped me with my college career. Students starting a new chapter in their lives need the help and support because transition can be a little scary. I hope to be an essential tool to help the process be as smooth and exciting as possible.



Durham County

Tori Harris

Hi! My name is Tori Harris and I am a Chattanooga, TN native. I graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with my Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise Science. In my free time I enjoy shopping, traveling, and spending time with family & friends. I’m excited to be a College Adviser because I’ve always had a passion for encouraging students to explore the various options of furthering their education.



Bethany Kessinger

Hello! I’m Bethany from Wilmington, NC, and a Magna Cum Laude graduate of UNC Greensboro in Arts Administration with a minor in Technical Theatre. On campus, I engaged in the Ashby Residential College Program and served as an Upper Class Mentor. I completed the Bronze Leadership Challenge and held various on-campus roles like Spartan Guide, Peer Academic Leader, Resident Advisor, Office Manager Assistant, and Social Media Intern. As a first-generation college student, helping others succeed at different stages of their college journey inspired me. I’m thrilled to continue leading students to success as they embark on new paths. Remember, anything is possible with determination and belief!



Bryanna Moffitt

Hi all! My name is Bryanna Moffitt. I have a passion in counseling underserved youth, specializing in psychology that aids in adolescent growth and development. I am committed to helping seniors gain college access as well as assisting with applications, resources, and opportunities to expand college awareness.




Zane Reep

Hey y’all, my name is Zane and I am a North Carolina native from Monroe, NC. I attended Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC before transferring to NC State University during the Covid-19 pandemic, so my college experience was very tumultuous. During my time at NC State I was a TRIO scholar, member of numerous clubs and organizations, and joined a fraternity, among other things.

I graduated with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Business Administration this past summer. In my free time, I enjoy being active through basketball, running, or weight lifting as well as reading, gaming, or cooking. I have worked many different jobs ranging from being a warehouse tech, an accounting intern, a legislative intern for a state senator, and Chick-Fil-A worker…so it’s always my pleasure to help you!


Daniel Scott-Blakeney


My name is Daniel Scott-Blakeney. North Carolina A&T graduate, bachelor’s in business management concentration in Entrepreneurship; minor in child development & family studies. My goal after my service with DukeCAC, going back to school for my masters in education to become a middle/high school teacher. Future goal, is to have my own fine arts school to help those who are passionate within the arts & making it a career. There’s nothing more than showing Love to everyone, have Faith in God & yourself, & always maintain Peace.




Johnston County

Maria Garcia-Ortega


I am a first generation Mexican-American from Johnston County, NC. I graduated from Smithfield-Selma High School and I attended the University of North Carolina Wilmington where I majored in Psychology with a Leadership Studies minor. My faith, family and friends are very important to me. I enjoy going to the beach, farming, traveling, trying new food places, matcha lattes, and boba. I am excited to serve back to the high school that helped me be where I am today.



Lee County

Brooke Peed

Hello! My name is Brooke Peed, and I am a UNC Wilmington graduate with a BA in International Studies. I focused heavily on education during my studies and I am excited to work with Duke College Advising Corps! Professionally, I hope to attend graduate school and become a school counselor in the future. Personally, I enjoy traveling, hiking, concerts and museum- hopping.



Orange County

Zion Thompson

Hi! My name is Zion and I am a Psychology and Women and Gender Studies graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I love coffee, music, nature, and absolutely anything dealing with art. Promoting and providing safe, comforting spaces for any and everyone is a huge passion of mine, so I am excited to do just that with everyone I meet through College Advising Corps.

Jaida Torain

Hello! My name is Jaida Torain, and I am from Haw River, NC. I am a proud graduate from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a Bachelors degree in Psychology. I am excited to serve as a College Adviser because I understand that the college application process can be stressful, and I would like to help students navigate that. Furthermore, I enjoy encouraging students to strive for greatness and embrace all opportunities!

Person County

Jaime Ceballos

Hello Everyone! My name is Jaime Bueno Ceballos and I’m a recent UNC Greensboro ’22 double degree graduate in Community Recreation & Event Planning and Communication Studies. My background is heavy in my passion for civic engagement and event planning. In past roles i’ve served as Director of Unity for UNCGs’ Fraternity & Sorority Association and served as a Community Engagement Intern for the Greensboro Police Department & currently the Greensboro Fire Department. In my free time I’m a lover of the arts, I enjoy playing the saxophone, piano, ukulele, and some guitar as well as going to concerts and exhibits.



Richmond County

Mohamed Fall

Hi, I am Mohamed Fall. I recently graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a minor in Statistics and Analytics.

I am passionate about helping students navigate the college admission process and find the right fit for them. Ultimately, my goal as a college adviser is to empower students to make informed decisions and pursue their dreams confidently and enthusiastically. It’s an honor to offer guidance and support to students as they navigate the college admission process and discover their ideal fit.




Ajea Hughes

I’m Ajea Hughes. I am a recent graduate of Winston- Salem State University, where I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science as a First Generation student! I grew up in Rockingham County, NC and that’s where I attended school through high school. It has been an honor to serve underprivileged youth in my community this last school year and I have always wanted to expand on that and help others outside of my community. I spend my free time reading, taking walks, and watching Jeopardy!



Sampson County

Lance Barton

My name is Lance Barton, and I recently graduated from Hamilton College in Upstate New York as a QuestBridge finalist. I earned a double Bachelors of Arts in Physics and Russian Politics while at Hamilton. As a college advisor, I’m excited to help students reach their potential at their dream school, just as I did.



Nicholas Davis

Nicholas graduated from William Peace University in May of 2021. There he obtained his B.F.A. in Musical Theatre. Nicholas hopes to one day pursue a career in acting. In the meantime, he passes on the knowledge that allowed him to get to this point (and occasionally performs an idle tap dance as well.)

Gaelyn Dent

Hi, my name is Gaelyn! I’m originally from Hope Mills, North Carolina. I graduated from Duke University in 2021 with a B.A. in Neuroscience with a minor in Psychology. I enjoy painting, watching movies and playing the cello. I love being a college adviser because it allows me to help kids like me that are from a rural background grow and pursue their goals.




Kaylee Jones

My name is Kaylee Jones, and I am a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Child and Family Development. I graduated from Midway High School and am excited to be returning back to serve the community I grew up in. My goal as a CAC Adviser is to make sure all high school students are aware of the vast opportunities available to them to further their education. I am excited to have the opportunity to play a role in helping these students develop a plan and follow through with the next steps in their education.




Quadir Miller

My name is Quadir Miller and I graduated from William Peace University with a Bachelor’s degree in Simulation and Game Design/Development. I want to be a college adviser to help those who are transitioning into the next segment of their lives after high school. I want to be able to help those who don’t know what they want to do yet get a step in the right direction or get them closer to reaching their life goals.




Wake County

Jayda Bernard

My name is Jayda Bernard and I had graduated from William Peace University as an honors student holding a BA in Simulation & Game Design. Over the past 5 years, I have been passionate about community service and helping students thrive within an educational environment where, not only can they hone on their dreams but also themselves. Being a first generation college student, I strove for leadership from being a Student Coordinator for the orientation team to being a Resident Assistant on the WPU campus. In doing so, I have received student leader of the year award for 2 years as well as Miss Peace during my senior year. My mission and personal interest is helping those to have easier access to their future with higher education.




Michelle Rivera-Colon

Hi everyone! My name is Michelle, and I’m originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico. I am a recent graduate from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor’s in Psychology. In my free time, I love to be outdoors, spend time with family, and practice guitar. My personal goal as a Duke CAC adviser is to lead my students to success on their journey to post-secondary education by not only fostering a supportive environment, but also providing personalized guidance. I look forward to being a part of this program in helping students navigate the complexities of college application processes with confidence and clarity.