My name is Sophie Hurewitz, and I am incredibly excited to be chosen to be a Baldwin Scholar for the class of 2022!
I was born and raised in Washington, D.C, and have lived there my entire life with my parents, my younger brother, and my labradoodle. My family and I are incredibly close, and I am lucky to feel as though I can tell them anything, anytime. Growing up in D.C. has shaped my beliefs, my passions, and my goals for my future. I have been fortunate enough to have had unique opportunities in Washington, including the amazing high school I attended, the programs I was a part of, and the internships I was able to obtain.
I went to Georgetown Day School, a school proud to foster not only a strong sense of community, but also academic drive, confidence, and the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion among all students. It was at GDS that I was able to participate in a mentorship program for the first time. This program, which paired freshman girls with junior girls, was eye-opening for me. As a freshman mentee, it provided me with a source of confidence, empowerment, and motivation. As a junior mentor, it provided me with a way to shape my leadership skills and empathy. This “Sisters in Spirit” program ignited my passion for female mentorship and empowerment. Inspired by what I had learned in the program as both a mentee and mentor, I began researching ways to expand the program beyond my high school community.
Extensive research led me to 1girl, an Ohio-based organization dedicated to empowering and instilling self-confidence in girls through mentoring. However, 1girl chapters existed only in the Midwest, and those were programs for college women to mentor middle school girls. I founded the first East Coast chapter of 1girl – and the organization's first chapter operated by high school students – and adapted the 1girl concept for high schoolers to mentor elementary school girls in Washington, D.C. I then initiated a partnership with a local public elementary school, where 1girl became the school's first after-school enrichment program run by a high school student. During sessions of weekly 1girl meetings, I led fifteen third through fifth graders in a hands-on curriculum including art projects, games, journaling, and facilitated discussions designed to foster public speaking skills, problem-solving strategies, and confidence; helping the young girls I mentored navigate personal challenges and develop the skills and confidence to solve problems head-on was one of the most gratifying experiences of my life.
My love of mentorship helped me recognize another great passion of mine: working with children. I have been a literacy tutor, a camp counselor, an assistant teacher, a child advocate at the Child Health Advocacy Institute, and a pediatric intern at both Tufts Floating Hospital and Children’s National Medical Center. I cherished the challenges and joys that accompanied my work in these settings, and through these opportunities I determined that my professional goal is to become a pediatrician.
Here at Duke, I am currently enrolled in the Global Health Focus program and am planning to major in Neuroscience with a Child Policy Research certificate. I am a blogger for HerCampus, the Public Relations Officer for a female empowerment and mentorship organization called She’s the First, and hope to begin research with a focus on infants and toddlers this spring.
I am so excited to explore what my future holds here at Duke, and am grateful to have been chosen to be a part of the Baldwin family.