Duke University | Baldwin Scholars Program

Nailah Waterfield


Nailah Waterfield

All Things Are Possible For Those Who Believe

My name is Nailah Adaeze Waterfield and I was born and raised in Long Beach California. I learn best from people and have learned so much from my family. My mother has taught me I can get anywhere with hard work, and my father always showed me the power of education. From my 21 year old sister Imani I have learned that I can do it all, and my 23 year old brother Khalid taught me to never take life too seriously. I think I have spent over half my life on a court, on a field, or in a gym, and that long sweaty path has lead me to the Duke University Women’s Varsity Volleyball Team. I have been beyond blessed in my life with a loving supportive family, childhood friends I couldn’t (and haven’t had to) live without, and more opportunities than I can count.


While some of these opportunities have passed me by, I think the one I am most proud of taking advantage of, is the diversity by which I come from. I had the unique opportunity of growing up color blind, with a group of friends of all different colors, cultures, heritages, and beliefs. This opportunity has shaped everything I believe in today.


I believe beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I believe in true love, first loves, and eternal love. I believe in laughter as medicine and medical healers. I believe a smile can make a persons day, and happiness can make a persons life. I believe in equality for all. I believe in fighting for what you believe in and respecting what you don’t. I believe in lifelong friendships and second long grudges. I believe in boyfriends or girlfriends. I believe in words of inspiration and inspiring the youth. I believe happiness is a choice and that choice is a privilege. I believe in miracles. I believe in counting your blessings and not your misfortunes. I believe in apologies and forgiveness. I believe in sincerity and serenity. I believe hate is a strong word, and i hate prejudice of any sort, and bigotry of all kind.  I believe in being true to yourself, and yourself at all times. And I also believe that Baldwin Scholars is the best thing that has happened to me at Duke University.


To me, Baldwin has been being surrounded by dozens of amazing women who will save the world one day. Being constantly reaffirmed, there is nothing I cannot do. Being a part of a network unlike any other network, not simply a network of contacts, but a network of support, a network of sisters. As a senior Baldwin I now have som perspective on what three years in this community will do to you. 

I am the only athlete in my class and Baldwin Scholars is my largest and fondest source of non varsity athletes. My class is fille with dancers, artists, writers, philanthropists, activists, and pretty much all things inspiring. Baldwin has given me a community where I can support women at this University outside of gyms and fields. Diversity is a powerfull tool and if Baldwin is one thing, it is diverse. Because of Baldwin I was able to secure the internship of my dreams with a private high-profile philanthropy consulting company. Legacy Venture Consulting works with high profile individuals including professional athletes and T.V. personalities to give back to the community. I am also the class representative for Baldwin Class of 2013, the cuddle class =). In an organization like this, my job is simple yet incredibly rewarding. I simply plan events to bring these beautiful, high achieving women together, and watch as inspiration flows, ideas formulate, and plans are put into action to make the world a better place. 

If you have ANY questions. I would love to answer any questions about Baldwin, Duke University, or Duke University Athletics!