Alumni Profiles

Rahel Petros

Campus: Duke
Hometown: Laurel, MD
High School: Atholton High School

What drew you to the Robertson Program?

I fell in love with Duke after my first campus visit, so I quickly got to researching different ways my four years could be funded, as my family would struggle to afford sending me here otherwise. The scholarship money alone, however, was not what drew me. Understanding the breadth and depth of opportunities offered by the Robertson Scholars program and their commitment to personal development drew me. As someone who is overwhelmed with interests in a variety of fields and disciplines, the Robertson Program was the perfect path for me to explore my passions freely while having plenty of resources to do so. Additionally, the brilliant Scholars I met and conversed with allowed me to authentically visualize what I could accomplish if I joined this program, and I knew my potential would be limitless if I became a Robertson Scholar.

How has your experience with the Robertson shaped your goals and career path?

At first, I wasn’t completely sure how I would fit into the Robertson community and how it could help me with my goals because my experiences had me imagining leadership and service in a way that seemed very different from my peers. While I learned this was not entirely true after meeting more Robertsons, the conversations I had with scholars with different interests were helpful in cementing my commitment to uplifting marginalized voices and building community wherever I went. I always felt compelled to justify my passions because I felt I was in the minority, which allowed for a better self-awareness and confidence in my path.

What has been your favorite Robertson moment so far?

I remember feeling really anxious on our bus ride to the retreat — it was my first day on my “college” journey, since I had arrived to Durham the night before. I didn’t really know much of the Robbie ‘23 group, and I had JUST gotten added to the group chat after everyone had been chatting all summer. But on the last night on our NOLS bonding retreat, we all went to the Nantahala River before bed and talked with each other bonfire-style. That was a really culminating experience after four days of being together and getting to know each other for better and for worse. I had really meaningful conversations with people and felt like I fit in to the group much more after that.

Petros Rahel