Alumni Profiles

Simone Nabors

Campus: Duke
Hometown: Wake Forest, NC
Pronouns: She/They

How do you believe you’ll create transformational change?

I used to think that I needed some sort of master plan to enact transformational change. I knew that it wouldn’t be as simple as following someone else’s path, but I thought that if I could piece together different steps from here and there, I’d be able to map out my perfect plan. What I’ve come to realize is that my path won’t come in pre-determined steps because the best way for me to create transformational change is to be unapologetically myself. As a gay Black woman, my presence in certain spaces isn’t always celebrated, but I make the choice to live out loud every step of the way.

What drew you to the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program?

I was drawn to the program because of their focus on intellectual curiosity. If you asked anyone who knew me as a child, they would have no problem remembering my seemingly endless cycle of questions. At some point I started keeping those curiosities to myself after realizing that they weren’t the most conducive to the traditional K-12 learning environment. One of the first things I noticed about the program was how it celebrated intellectual curiosity and encouraged us to constantly ask questions not only of the world around us but of the world within us as well.

How has the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program impacted your personal, professional, or leadership growth?

This program has impacted me in more ways than I ever could have imagined, and it feels nearly impossible to capture in words. If I were to sum it all up, I’ve learned to STEP OUT, STEP UP, and STEP IN. The program has provided me with ample opportunities to step out of my comfort zone into new challenges while providing me with the necessary tools to step up to the plate and approach those challenges with excitement. Most importantly, I have learned to step into myself and appreciate not only what I’ve accomplished thus far, but all that is possible in the future.

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

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