My Story

Background: I grew up in a few cities throughout the U.S. Midwest (Chicago, Madison, & Denver) and was raised by my mother and my grandparents. My family and home communities instilled in me a passion for social justice and appreciation for diversity, both of which drive my academic, professional, and personal interests. I have always loved to play and watch sports, my favorites being basketball and football. I also enjoy listening to and making music. Duke has been an amazing place where I have found people and places with whom and where I can enjoy these hobbies.

Academic Pursuits: In addition to my studies and experiences in the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Certificate program, I am pursuing my major in Public Policy. Through coursework in both departments, I hope to explore and prepare for a career through which I can make a difference across multiple sectors and platforms for change. Outside of the classroom, I have been involved in a variety of social innovation & entrepreneurship initiatives on campus, including Design for America, Compass Fellowship, Enterprising Leadership Initiative, and Net Impact Social Innovators. I have also engaged with communities and organizations throughout Durham such as Durham Nativity School, Crayons 2 Calculators, and StudentU.

Goals: Whether through launching new interventions or advocating for policy change, my mission is to better the lives of poor, black, brown, and other marginalized communities in the United States. I’m particularly focused on addressing injustices and disparities in education, economic opportunity, criminal justice, civil rights, housing, health, the environment, and more. I have spent every semester and summer since coming to college in the U.S. South and/or global South, and I hope to continue exploring places, people, and culture in these parts of the country and the world.

Welcome to the E-Portfolio of Ray’s interests, passions, coursework, and experiences in the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Certificate program at Duke University. To learn more about the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Certificate program at Duke, visit the program website: