Jambo! My name is Moreen, but I prefer to be called by my Kikuyu name, Wambui. I was born and raised in Kenya until I moved to the United States in 2005. It was not until becoming a part of the Baldwin Scholars program that I realized I was always meant to be with such a group of women who empower and support each other. I grew up in a very small town in Kenya called Lanet. At a very early age, I came to the realization that the boys I played the traditional Kikuyu game, ‘kati’, with would be provided with a much larger array of opportunities than would ever be available to me. Of course, in the setting that I was in, I was completely justified in thinking this way. However, I did not realize that what would happen to me by the age of nine would change the course of my life forever. I would always tell my friends that I am going to one day go to the United States and become the change I would like to see in my own country. As cliché as it sounds, I knew somewhere, someday, someone would realize my dream and provide me with the chance to reach my goals. At Duke, I knew I wanted to get involved in activities that not only fostered an environment of learning and self-awareness but also one where there is a genuine concern for others’ well-being and success. After attending a number of NAACP meetings, I realized I have a passion for bridging the gap between education and health disparities. As a Cardea Fellow and a pre-med student, I would not be interested in medicine if someone was not attentive to the details of how I would attain my education. I have seen firsthand that health disparities in the United States, as well as in my own country, are directly linked to disparities in educational opportunities. Therefore, I can make a difference in the medical field by also focusing on what causes, for instance, Black women to lack medical care more than any other minority in the world. This path led me to join a similar committee Duke Africa where we focus mainly on education advocacy in lower income areas such as Durham but also back in our home countries in Africa. Within the next 3-4 years, I hope to be able to involve the Duke Global Health Institute in my work as well as create a spirit of collaboration between Duke Africa, NAACP, and Every Nation Campus Ministries. I will strive to incorporate my quantitative research in the Duke Clinical and Research Labs and my passion for facilitating collaboration between various groups and disciplines in order to truly see the change I envision. My hope is that my multidiscipline approach will eventually lead me to be able to work with policy makers on both education and healthcare here in the United States and in Kenya. I have come to truly appreciate the networks I have formed with fellow students, professors, and advisors as they make this ocean seem much more bearable.
In my free time, I enjoy reading the Bible and strengthening my personal relationship with God. I also love taking walks around the neighborhood, traveling, hiking/backpacking, shopping, and making others smile J
Please feel free to reach out!