I am committed to giving back to the community as I pursue my Duke career. In the Spring of 2019, I began volunteering with the homeless population of Durham. I am also currently involved in two different programs run by FEMMES, which seeks to engage young girls by exposing them to STEM. Last year I volunteered at the Durham Literacy Center, tutoring individuals seeking to take the General Education Development (GED) test.
Volunteer, Durham Literacy Center
Dates: September 2017-December 2017
Hours: 20 hours
My involvement with the Durham Literacy Center during the Fall of my sophomore year enabled me to tutor young adults seeking to receive their general education diploma (GED). I worked with students individually (once a week in three hour sessions) to review practice exams and concepts they found difficult. Passing the GED test is the first step for many of these students to achieve the numerous and diverse aspirations they have shared with me. I am humbled to have played a small part in their journeys. This experience relates to the GC focus of advancing personalized learning. Many of the individuals receiving tutoring had dropped out of high school because they felt as though their school was not able to provide the support they needed. Classes were not taught at the appropriate speed, and teachers had too many students to slow down for one. In other words, classes were tough because schools did not have the resources to customize the curriculum (and teaching style) to each student’s needs. By working as a tutor in this program, I had the opportunity to address this issue by providing students with a personalized education. I varied my teaching style from student to student, and worked with each student on a curriculum customized to his strengths and weaknesses. I saw the direct impact that I made on these individuals, and some even achieved their goal of obtaining a GED.
Volunteer, FEMMES After School Program
Dates: September 2018-December 2018
Hours: 12 hours
Volunteers after after school program with elementary school aged girls to promote confidence, and interest in the sciences. During the program we completed activities such as constructing electric circuits with lemons and potatoes, and reflecting upon which materials were most successful. It was gratifying to see the girls’ excitement about the activities we completed and their pride when they comprehend the experiments’ underlying scientific principles.
This experience relates to my GC focus of engineering better medicines and to the GC focus of advancing personalized learning. By participating in the FEMMES program, I exposed young girls to basic scientific techniques, and supplemented the hands-on education they may have lacked in a large school with less resources. I worked hard to encourage them to become engaged in STEM, and perhaps even inspired them to one day engineer better medicines.
Volunteer, FEMMES Connect
Dates: September 2018-May 2019
Hours: 10 hours
Mentors middle school girls in the Durham Community. As a volunteer, I was a friend, a role model and a constant source of advice. I engaged in activities such as visits to the Duke Lemur Center, and holiday fashion shows in which we constructed clothes out of wrapping paper, that sought to develop meaningful relationships between college women and underprivileged girls. By participating in the program, these girls are exposed to women who epitomize that passion and hard work can result in success.I hope to inspire young girls as others have done for me
Volunteer, St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church (Durham)
Dates: January 2019-May 2019
Hours: 20 hours
Cooked breakfast for the homeless population of Durham once a week.