Hello! My name is Meng Zhou and I'm a proud west-coaster hailing from Portland, Oregon. I was born in China, moved to the United States when I was four and grew up in Juneau, Alaska. I now call Portland home and I love everything about my city, from the smell after it rains to evening strolls by the Willamette River that divides our city.
At Duke, I plan on majoring in Public Policy Studies, but am also interested in studying Religion, Political Science, and Women's Studies. My passion for activism and creating positive change began in high school where I served on several advisory boards for non-profit organizations, helped start a youth board for Campfire USA and was the first youth on their Board of Directors, and worked with the Portland Public Schools in student government and the youth leadership group. I also became interested in women's issues, especially female empowerment, through starting a mentoring program for middle and high school girls as a member of the Multnomah County Youth Commission. I feel that these experiences have prepared and guided me towards my aspirations at Duke and also sparked my interest in the Baldwin Scholars.
I've been very fortunate to have been able to participate in a wide range of activities here at Duke. My first semester freshman year, I participated in the Modern America FOCUS program and was Treasurer for my dorm House Council. Currently I'm a member of Alpha Phi sorority, participate in several fellowship groups, and will also be a Freshman Advising Counselor (FAC) to incoming freshman, which should definitely be an interesting experience.
In my free time, I enjoy reading, spending time with my family and friends, hiking and the outdoors, yoga, watching classic movies and cooking. Although I really miss my home and the people back there, I've grown to love Duke and have no regrets coming, having been immersed in Duke Basketball and treated to southern hospitality and beautiful weather my freshman year. Coming here was definitely a big step to take for me, yet with this decision I had the chance to meet new people, sample new experiences and to grow as an individual. Along the way I've made some good friends and have been blessed with wonderful mentors who I admire and can depend on. I'm very excited to be spending the rest of my time here with such an amazing group of women, and look forward to working on issues I really care about with them.