Hi! My name is Samantha Streit and I am proud to be a member of the Baldwin class of 2022.
I hope to pursue a major in Theater Studies and then audition and perform as a professional actress in New York City, my hometown. I plan to continue making public service a priority, focusing my career on telling impactful stories and using the arts as a vehicle to create social change.
I have been passionate about the arts my entire life. I went to the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute for four years where I studied acting, TV & film, and musical theater. I also have worked as an assistant teacher there for the younger students. I recently participated in Northwestern University’s Theatre Arts Cherubs program. I have studied dance at Steps for eight years, learning Jazz, Hip Hop, Ballet, and Tap. I also play guitar, sing, and write songs. I have been in many shows, such as Animal Farm, Our Town, and Once Upon A Mattress, and recently played Rose in the main stage production of Dancing at Lughnasa, fall semester 2018 at Duke.
My junior year of high-school, I created MAD Music (Making a Difference Music). I brought together school musicians to perform at Senior Centers, our school, and at fundraisers. One of the reasons I formed MAD Music was to counteract the powerless feeling I felt in the face of tragedies, such as the hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the countless school shootings. Music forges lasting connections between people. It gives people a voice and hope. MAD Music gives me the opportunity to help people overcome boundaries through sharing their voices, identities, and stories with each other. Throughout high-school I also volunteered at the 92nd st Y, working as a guitar assistant teacher to elementary school children. I developed curriculum and communicated concepts of music theory and technique. My summer going into Junior year I helped run a camp for local kids in Guadeloupe. I taught music classes, and it was incredible to see the dismantling of language barriers through song. I hope to continue working on similar projects throughout my Duke career and the rest of my life.
I identify as a feminist, and politics is a deeply-rooted passion of mine. In high-school, I interned for NY State Assembly member Linda B. Rosenthal, an incredible leader and activist. My internship gave me the opportunity to take small steps into a leadership position myself, communicating with constituents and organizing community events. My senior year of high-school I was selected to be a Big Sib. As a Big Sib, I served as a leader within the school community providing academic and emotional support for underclassmen. I was also selected by my principal to be the 12th grade representative of my high-school’s Student Leadership Team where I assisted in developing educational policies.
Duke has already provided wonderful leadership opportunities for me, be it in my Knowledge in the Service of Society FOCUS, my election to the Freshman Initiative Team in Duke’s Political Union, or my featured role in the faculty directed play. I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to be part of a community empowering future female leaders. I look forward to learning from trailblazing female mentors, forging bonds with fellow Scholars, and working to achieve my goals while shattering glass ceilings together.