Akshita Raghuvanshi

I was raised in Houston, Texas but my family and I immigrated from India when I was about a year old. Growing up in Houston but also being strongly connected to my Indian heritage means that I got the best of both worlds when it comes to food, holidays, and overall culture. Part of the reason that I am the way I am and that I can approach life in the way I do is because of the way my parents taught me and how their parents taught them. I think of myself as a product of generations and generations of strong Indian sanskar mixed in with the modernity and the culture of the world I live in today. My mother made her way into a country where she didn’t speak the language, where she didn’t know anyone, where she faced racism and sexism at every turn and still became one of the top agents in her field. She is one of the reasons why I am so proud to be welcomed into a community of such amazing women— because I was raised by one to be one.

In the past I’ve tried to devote myself to causes that matter to me and to activities that I knew would make me a well-rounded person. I knew from my sophomore year of high school that I wanted to be a doctor but I competed in four years of debate because there’s so much more to the world we live in than just the field that we want to go into and I wanted to understand that better. I began volunteering with Planned Parenthood in the beginning of my senior year of high school and I was lucky enough in 2020 to actually be able to help plan and moderate an event for them in October to get out the vote. Reproductive rights and politics are incredibly important to me and no matter what field I end up in I plan on playing my part to support a better future.

At Duke, I’m studying biomedical engineering on the premed track and planning on minoring in psychology. The human body and the world of medicine and medical technology enthralls me and I can’t wait to one day be a part of research that breaks ground every day on the way that human life can be improved. Outside of Baldwin scholars, I’m also a member of Team Kenan at Duke and a 2020 Youth Power Fellow with Planned Parenthood.

photo of Akshita Raghuvanshi