Hometown: Tulsa, OK
High School: Booker T. Washington High School
I have always been fascinated by the notion that I am a product of my entangled experiences and conversations with people from all walks of life. Sustainable change in our communities is empowered by mutual understanding. Forging connections with people different from me has motivated most of my academic and extracurricular endeavors. When I was 8 years old, I started volunteering at Emergency Infant Services, an organization that provides families in imperative need with assistance for their young children (formula, diapers, clothes, etc). An experience that began as carrying bags of diapers bigger than myself has become working directly with families as I continue my time at EIS over a decade later. Over the years, I have heard countless stories from resilient men and women who are just trying to get by. Because of this, I am inspired and committed to find innovative solutions for alleviating long term poverty.
I have always been interested in the causal link between disparate educational opportunity and cyclical poverty. My sophomore year of high school I joined a cohort of teens called Youth Philanthropy Initiative. Together, over 3 years, we created science, technology, engineering, and math educational programs geared towards underrepresented children in Tulsa at Title I elementary schools in response to Oklahoma’s educational budget crisis. I continued my personal endeavor into STEM education through an internship at a STEM advocacy network. There, along with two of my peers, I developed STEMRx: a series of activities and programs to be used in both educational and therapeutic scenarios for children receiving long term medical care.
My academic and extracurricular interests may appear to be random: from speech & debate, to FIRST Robotics, to Model UN, to a politically themed art show, to academic bowl. However, the underlying theme to me is befriending people interested in diverse, fascinating things. I can’t wait to continue meeting interesting people at UNC and Duke! In my free time, you can find me binge watching any Shonda Rhimes show, over caffeinating at a local coffee shop, or jamming out to literally any and every type of music.
What drew you to the Robertson Program?
The Robertson Program is the place for people who want to grow outside of their comfort zone and want to be a in a group that is greater than the sum of its parts. I was drawn to the Robertson because it connects young leaders from across the world to collaborate genuinely, and it gives Scholars the resources and guidance to push themselves past their comfort zone. Creating a bridge over the Triangle between UNC and Duke makes amazing things happen, and I’m so excited to see where it leads.