Empower yourself with education.

Most Duke students who knew Rachel Shack immediately identified her as a tenacious athlete and proud member of the Varsity Women’s lacrosse team.  In fact, she was selected for the team as a walk-on and played for three of her four years without an athletic scholarship.  On the team, hers was always the positive and encouraging voice.  But few knew her intense dedication to community service.

In the Baldwin Scholars first-year seminar, Shack described her work tutoring second-language students near her hometown in Massachusetts, helping a young boy raise his career aspirations, encouraging him to believe that he could become an architect despite his early educational struggles. 

Shack has used an inspirational philosophy in all of her work with children in Durham. She was a literacy tutor at George Watts, Durham Nativity School, and E.K. Powe Elementary throughout her Duke career.  As a senior, she was also a tutor and mentor at Jordan High in an ESL classroom, and during her last semester – when most of her peers were coasting toward graduation – she began tutoring in the two-way language program at Southwest Elementary School.  Shack tutored a native Spanish-speaking child in English, then worked with a fourth grade science class taught in Spanish.

Shack completed her Baldwin Scholar internship after sophomore year at Octogon Sports, with high acclaim.  She returned to Durham after junior year to work for the Emily Krzyzewski Family Life Center, coordinating their Summer Leadership Academy, mentoring and supervising six high schools students, helping them with SAT preparation and conducting leadership activities.  Improving educational opportunities for children – all children, regardless of socioeconomic status or first language – is her passion. 

Shack graduated from Duke in 2008 with a History major, Spanish minor and cum laude honors.  She will teach in New Orleans for Teach for America this year.