Alumni Profiles

De’Ivyion Drew

Campus: UNC
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
High School: Virginia Episcopal School

From my bright eyed toddler days, my parents taught me that I have the power to change my life circumstances for the best outcome. The quote “I came forth, I saw, I conquered.” has shown up through many important transitions. I was the only eighth grade student to go to college preparatory school, one of eight females of African descent on campus, and the first Robertson Scholar of Virginia Episcopal School. I believe true strength derives from overcoming obstacles instead of avoiding them, and within my high school environment, the lack of diversity was a prominent issue that prompted a restorative response. After gaining experience through Debate Club, Model United Nations, and Global Ambassadors, I founded Cultural Unity, an initiative that provides programs that help integrate safe spaces into the VES community. Within Cultural Unity, Caroline’s Sewing Circle Gender Equality Club, Equity and Inclusion Committee Faculty Student Group, VES Gay-Straight Alliance, and GET WOKE! newspaper column all function together.

From an artistic perspective, I play drums and sing soprano, mezzo-soprano, or alto for Jazz Ensemble and Vocal Ensemble music groups. Ceramic sculpture empowers me to speak without words as an outlet to arouse action and bring positive representation of the African-American experience. During my personal time, I often update my artsy Instagram page, watch YouTube tutorials, and read the Bible or the Atlantic newspaper.

As of now, I am interested in pursuing a Bachelors of Fine Arts with a focus in African American Art History and a Bachelors of Arts in African and African American Studies. The field of Public Health, or even a career as a Medical Illustrator, would allow me to implement social justice advocacy everyday.

What drew you to the Robertson Program?

I see myself as a strand of yarn in a vast tapestry, weaving together with other yarns of diverse backgrounds toward cultural awareness through the sharing of our experiences. Every action inside or outside of the classroom is dedicated to making life a little brighter for those to come. The Robertson Program is a unique curriculum, like knitting needles, that connect students of various diversities in civil discourse, self-development, and new expeditions in every environment. The fact that this scholarship offers both financial and expressive freedoms seems very appealing to me, coupled with highly customizable experiences and a strong support network in every field, I knew that this opportunity was intentionally designed to develop leaders over a lifetime.

Robertson Scholars, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, at Duke UniversityÕs Smith Warehouse in Durham, N.C.  

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