Duke University | Baldwin Scholars Program

May Lee


May Lee

They say a name is worth a thousand conversations. And that's how many conversations I've had about my name. After years of struggle with people mispronouncing my Korean name, Jinkyoung, my mom decided to name me after the month that I was born in, and ever since, I've gone by May.

My life has always been a mouthful to describe to strangers. I'm a third-culture kid from Korea, who grew up in Thailand, while learning to speak English as my first language. Hopping from culture to culture for a majority of my life, I've grown up across and between cultures, being from everywhere but belonging nowhere. Being rootless, however, has instilled in me the courage and freedom to explore and define my own identity. And my many masks, a collection of my various experiences and backgrounds over the years, are a storyboard of who I am.

At Duke, I'm continuing to write my own narrative, piecing more stories together for my storyboard. And through Baldwin, I hope to develop a vision and a direction for the story I live.