Whenever I am asked where I am from, I usually start by describing my ancestors’ various migrations from Ireland and Lithuania to South Africa and North America. I then elaborate on my immediate family, a household with four different accents, an Irish-Catholic American mother and a Jewish South African father. However, because my distinct British accent is generally the reason the person asks in the first place and to give them some peace of mind, I end with, “I am from London.” I have always loved my complex background, spending countless evenings making pasta with my Italian step-grandpa or singing along to musical numbers from my grandma’s favourite Broadway hits. Time spent with them sharing their traditions is time I greatly cherish. Although my cultural heritage invaluably enriches my life, what I feel have most influenced my perspective are my eclectic interests. I am currently studying German, Ancient Greek and Maths. They connect me to the past and present, and allow me to understand culture through many different perspectives. For example, Maths in itself is a universal language and forces me to think logically yet also creatively, while reading books in German about the world wars betters my understanding of Merkel’s foreign policies; studying the plight of women in antiquity helps me understand where gender inequality stems from.
As I further my education, I hope to continue to tackle and bring awareness to these very prejudices facing women and would love the Baldwin Scholars program to play a role in this. Coming from a girls’ school in the centre of London filled with budding feminists and ambitious women, uninhibited by gender roles in the classroom or concerned with attaining this unrealistic image of perfection, the transition into a co-ed environment has shown me the unique value of this high school experience and an all-female community.
Around Duke I am involved in House Council, Team Kenan, Honor Council, a member of an all-female A Capella group, Deja Blue, and I volunteer at SuWA (Supporting Women’s Action) working with female refugees in the local Durham community.
As a part of the Ethics, Leadership and Global Citizenship FOCUS, a member of Team Kenan and hoping to pursue an ethics certificate, a large part of my Duke Experience has revolved around the Kenan Institute for Ethics. My interests lie in human rights, women rights and refugees and I hope to form a course of study that reflects this.