I am someone who seeks purpose. I grew up in a suburb of New York City and attended a preparatory school in Connecticut. Both of my parents are fantastic, hardworking, and loving. In high school, I was a sports fanatic who believed my trajectory in life would follow a fairly simple formula: I would play lacrosse on the varsity team, I would earn good enough grades, and by junior year I would sign to play at the division one level. After nearly committing to play at a college program, I tore my ACL. I continued to push through my athletics but fell to two subsequent knee injuries and surgeries. With my plan destroyed, I was unsure of what to do. I had focused thousands and thousands of hours playing sports and my dream to play at a division one program seemed to dissipate right before my eyes. Saddened and depressed, the time I had previously spent grinding away on the field slowly morphed into months of immobility. I began to focus my passion and drive on other aspects of life. I became obsessed with my academics and my art, and grew more passionate about philanthropy and community involvement while maintaining an emotional dedication to my three varsity teams.
After visiting Duke, I fell in love with the buzz and the atmosphere. As an athlete and a very social person, I found Duke’s culture matched up with my mentality. Students were driven and hardworking in the classroom but also found passion outside of academics. I decided I needed to apply. Without having reinvented the wheel in high school, I was nervous I would not fulfill such a prestigious university’s expectations. Fortunately, my sense of insecurity no longer resides with me today. I am surrounded by people from all walks of life, and I realized there is no cookie cutter mold that triggers acceptance. Instead, I have found that my trajectory is different from that of other students and that my difference is what Duke found interesting.
As someone who sort of participated in everything in high school, I did not arrive at Duke with a plan. I decided I would feel it out and pursue whatever interested me the most. Freshmen year, I took biology, theater, math, and public policy. I loved them all. I decided a Public Policy Major would permit my taking a multitude of exciting courses. As a Public Policy Major, I could focus on my passion for the environment and my desire to incite social change. The I&E certificate with a focus on Social Innovation was the perfect supplement to my Public Policy Major. I found the certificate provided me with the potential to pursue my passion while combining a knowledge base I would accumulate from Public Policy courses with a sense of purpose. After learning about economics, ethics, and the effect politics has on our world, I&E will help me materialize my goals to create positive change. Hopefully, I will one day create a socially innovative venture that positively impacts the world.
I have tried to supplement my academics with both work and extracurricular experiences. Continuing my passion for the arts, I am a Theater minor at Duke. Not only do I enjoy acting and theater, but I also find the skills I learn from acting as extremely applicable to everyday situations. I am also on the External Affairs Committee of the Duke Impact Investing Group. At DIIG we aspire to invest in socially innovative companies who seek to create positive change. My role as External Engagement Committee Director mandates planning, promoting, and arranging events and newsletters. I also work at the Duke Chronicle as a Sales Representative to help fund the publication’s operations. Here I enjoy working with a team of other representatives while interacting with and managing relationships with Downtown Durham and Duke University Businesses. I also am the Public Relations Director for the CHANCE tutoring program. At CHANCE, we help local high school and college students succeed academically. Finally, I am a member of a Fraternity at Duke where I have sat on the executive committee as both a Social Chair and a Philanthropy Chair. While still uncertain about my purpose in life, I hope that the path I chose at Duke will provide me with the potential to make a positive impact on our world.