Class of 2023
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
Majors: Public Policy and Statistics
Hobbies: Health policy, geopolitics, music, hiking
Tell us about your Duke experience:
When I first learned that I had received the AB Duke scholarship, the decision was clear. Although I had always seen government and nonprofit work as my calling, the prospect of immense college loans threatened to divert me from this rewarding, but under-compensated career trajectory. At face value, the AB program allowed me to rekindle this dream and its financial value was more than enough to push me to Duke.
But once I actually arrived at Duke, I soon discovered another benefit of this scholarship. Before orientation week even started, I had already found a group of friends with whom I could enjoy the stress-free days of August. A welcoming community of upperclassmen scholars helped me navigate the labyrinth of opportunities at Duke and select the ones best suited for me. Their advice guided me through my journey from an aspiring engineer to a Public Policy and Statistics major interested in disability health policy. And throughout the whole process, the monthly dinners with my scholar class gave me something to look forward to during even the most stressful weeks. Over the past two years, the AB community has been my safety net that catches me when I am down and supports me at my best.
As I predicted, the financial and professional offerings of the AB program have allowed me to follow my dream career in public service. Academically, I’ve enrolled in advanced health policy courses that have taught me to approach pressing public health issues from a wide range of perspectives. Extracurricular-wise, I helped create the Disability Cultural Center and the Accessibility Invitational as the current co-president of Duke Disability Alliance. And off campus, I have interned at two state Medicaid agencies and have served on the advisory panel and board of two nonprofits dedicated to autism research. Most of these engagement would not be possible without the financial and social support of the AB program and I look forward to what adventures are to come.