Hello!!  My name is Abla Samantha Eyram Messie, but I go by Sam or Samantha.

I was born in the Lome, Togo to two Togolese parents. I moved to Maryland when I was 5. My family and I lived there for 4 years before moving to North Raleigh, where I now call home. I attended Needham B. Broughton High School and was in the IB Diploma Program there.  I also spent my high school years volunteering and running clubs that centered around uplifting communities of color, food security, and women’s rights.

Although I spent most of my time growing up in America, my west African heritage still courses through my veins: I eat the food, I speak, read and write my tribal language, I wear the clothes, and I make it a goal to visit as much as I can. I love my motherland and can talk about what Togo and Africa mean to me for hours. It is my goal to one day return and take all the knowledge I will have gained in the field of medicine to give the people living in the first place I’ve ever loved better access to healthcare.

At Duke, I plan on majoring in either African and African American Studies, Neuroscience, or Psychology and I am definitely minoring in French and Chemistry. I have a strong interest in the healthcare, more specifically the way African nations interact with healthcare and social determinants that prohibit underrepresented populations from getting proper care. My interest in medicine can best be described as in intersection of natural sciences, history, and human sciences.

My parents were blessed enough to have 4 girls, of whom I am the eldest. My younger sisters are one, five, and twelve. I expect nothing less than strength and confidence from them, and I do my best to impart that on them. When I am not big sistering, my hobbies include playing in makeup, reading, dream house hunting, visiting coffee shops, knitting, or honing my photography skills. On campus, I am a Freshman Liaison for the Healthcare Committee of the NAACP, I am a member of Duke Amandla Choir (Duke’s first and only African Choir), and am on my way to becoming a member of Spoken Verb.

I am thoroughly enthused to be a part of a beautifully diverse group of strong women on campus. I look forward to leaving my mark on Duke along with my fellow Baldwins!