Dux femina facti -Virgil

My name is Kamika Shaw and I am a Queens, New York native. I’ve loved growing up in New York, and have tried to take advantage to all it has to offer, from Broadway plays to Shakespeare in the Park to the tiny hole in the wall diners you won’t find anywhere else.

Coming to Duke was very much a last minute decision for me. As a New York City native coming from a very small school (33 people in my graduating class!), I was, at the start of the college process, quite intent on going to school in the New England area. Duke was the farthest away I applied from home, and I didn’t think I would eventually end up there. I initially had reservations about applying but I couldn’t deny that there was something about the spirit and sense of pride with which the Dukies I’d met talked about their experiences that was intriguing and reassuring. A year later, I can confidently say that I made, by far, the right decision.

Academically, I am a prospective Political Science and English double major. I also love dancing (ballet), and am taking advantage of Duke’s fantastic dance program to get back into it after taking three years off. I am an avid reader of all sorts of literature, by favorite being 19th and 20th Century American and European literature. In my free time, I also enjoy picnics in Central Park, catching up on current events, and simply spending time with my family and friends.

My high school experience was one of the main reasons I wanted to become a Baldwin scholar. Quite atypical from the normal high school experience, I spent six years at a small all-girl school. I began those six years as a quiet, shy young woman, and emerged with a voice all my own.  In a setting that small, there was nowhere to hide, and my opinion counted. Even more importantly, I was able to grow and evolve while being surrounded by strong female figures that I could look up to and emulate.  Upon arriving at Duke, I realized that that was the one thing I sorely missed: a community of engaged, aware, empowered women who supported each other and who strived to continue their own personal growth.  I am happy to say I have found all this and more within the Baldwin community. I am beyond thrilled to be apart of this community of scholars, and am excited for the time I will get to share with each and every one of them.