Scholar Profiles

Campus: Duke
Hometown: Ewing, NJ
High School: Princeton Day School

Politics in not the only place where social change can be made. I believe that the corporate world, notorious for its cutthroat operations and strict focus on monetary exchange, can also be a place for social activism that has not yet been harnessed to its full potential. The marketing ploys that businesses release into the general public have real effects on consumers and their minds. The importance of representation of different demographics of people within the media, via movies and television, has been a popular subject of conversation lately. However, what has been long overlooked is how much representation also matters in advertising. Whether it be in commercials, on billboards, or in magazines, advertisements inadvertently shape the way that consumers think about themselves and those around them. When young girls of color don’t see people who represent themselves in casual media like this, — or when they do, only in degrading or minor contexts — it sends the message that they are not important pieces of society or that the world sees them in a light that they do not identify with. In order to change this and integrate healthier messages into product advertisements for the sake of all consumers and the financial benefit of these companies, I believe that more women and racial minorities need to be working within the business world. As a girl raised by two parents who have always told me that I could be anything I wanted to be, as long as I worked hard and maintained my drive for success, I have always been one to shoot for the stars. The thing I love about large scale business marketing is that it gives me the opportunity to feed my passion for social justice, use the capabilities of my creative mind, and create more positive outcomes for businesses and consumers alike. From serving on the Executive Board of the Duke Black in Business organization, to creating positive change for businesses students as a Markets & Management Studies Ambassador, to working in the Duke Career Center to provide students with the opportunity to learn about how they can best make change within the field of their interest, to being an active member of the Duke Baldwin Scholars Program, and serving as the youngest member of the Greater Durham Black Chamber of Commerce, I have worked to help others recognize the potential that lies within the corporate world both for personal success and social revolution. However, with all of these goals I seek to accomplish and all of the change I wish to create, I recognize that many young girls of color are not raised in the same kind of encouraging, academically rigorous, and opportunity filled environment that I was. So, in addition to revolutionizing corporate advertising through my own work, I feel as though it’s important to uplift other girls of color in the same way that my family and community uplifted me. This not only provides them with a positive role model with whom they can identify with, but also gives them the chance to experience academic and professional opportunities that they might otherwise never encounter. While working on my own personal agenda to create the change I wish to see within corporate marketing, I have also begun to use Duke and Durham as my starting grounds for implementing initiatives to create more spaces and opportunities for women and women of color to thrive both socially and professionally. Alongside two of my peers, I have successfully started an organization entitled Duke Empower Her Voice (EHV). This intersectional feminist platform works to promote the education and empowerment of all women. EHV accomplishes this in a multitude of ways from spotlighting the achievements of women both in Duke and the city of Durham, to funding the education of girls in Pakistan, to connecting underprivileged girls with inspiring female role models. However, my prospects to create change extend further than Duke’s campus. This Spring, I have completed the beginning stages of founding a nonprofit focused on providing girls of color with more exposure to professional career tracks, successful women of color to look up to as role models, and the encouragement to dream bigger.

What drew you to the Robertson Program?

The Robertson Program seemed like a match that was too good to be true. After learning about its intense emphasis on leadership, personal development, and the importance of community building, it became clear to me that the things that the Robertson aimed to develop within its scholars were exactly the things that I wished to add to my Duke experience. I truly believe that I am meant to use my education to positively impact the world around me and become a leader of and for the people. Not only does the Robertson provide me with the opportunity to pursue my interests freely and work towards creating positive change, but allows me to do so alongside other incredible scholars with passions equally as impactful and promising as my own.

Love Clara