Meet The Benjamin N. Duke Scholars
David Hong
David Hong
David Hong
Benjamin N. Duke Scholar 2013
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Highschool: North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
Major: Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mathematics

David's Bio

Some Disorganized Musings... Looking back, I see more and more that my life is not the result of my own ability or effort. I am not where I am because of who I am or what I have done. Rather, it is because of those around me and what they did in my life that I find myself at Duke University now, studying for a double major in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering. Perhaps then, the best way for me to tell you about myself is to briefly tell you a bit about my life showing how my experiences and those around me have led me to where I am today. I was born in a small farming community in northern Austria, where I spent the first six years of my life. Unfortunately, I do not remember much of my time there. However, I do remember family trips to Italy, Germany and the majestic Alps, during which we always seemed to run into various troubles, from getting our car stuck in a soft shoulder to me locking the car keys in the car. When these things happened, my parents would often make the best of the situation, choosing to enjoy the “adventure” as my dad puts it. After all, the “worst” times make for the best stories, right? My family moved to the United States in 1997. A large part of my life growing up was the Boy Scout program. Through weekend camping trips, summer camps and weekly meetings the adult leaders and older scouts made an impact in my life that I think I will only be able to fully comprehend years from now. They taught me that leadership is not about being the person at the front calling the shots – a good leader should be ready to follow as well. For my last two years, I attended the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM), where I was challenged academically to, as our school motto says, “Accept the Greater Challenge.” However, the lessons learned from the experience extend far beyond the academics. I learned, for example, how to wash my own clothes and how to clean bathrooms! More importantly, though, I learned what it meant to be part of a community of peers that I could honestly view as my family, people who were not just there to celebrate the victories, but who were also there to provide support in difficult times. Coming from this sort of residential experience, I was particularly drawn to the BN Duke program. Here was a group of scholars who more often called themselves a family than a scholarship program. I can say after one semester that the word was certainly not used loosely. I can honestly say the BN Duke program is truly a family to me. I know that in times of need I can turn to them for support and encouragement. I have loved getting to know them over the past semester and look forward to continuing to get to know them even better as we share in our journey together for the next four years, a journey I am confident will be jam-packed with many exciting adventures. Where am I now? Well, I am a student in the Pratt School of Engineering at the Duke University. Outside of coursework, I am involved in the Robotics Club as well as InterVarsity, a Christian fellowship on campus. On Mondays, I also volunteer as a tutor at the Emily K. Center where I have the opportunity to pass on all that has been freely given to me to the fourth graders I work with. I am forever grateful to my family. Throughout my life, my parents and my two older sisters have been much more than my words could do justice. They have supported and encouraged me in hard times and celebrated with me in happy times. Were it not for them, there is no way I would be who I am today. Truly, I am eternally indebted to them.

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Choosing to come to Duke and be a B.N. Duke Scholar had everything to do with choosing the corner where the people would support us the most zealously, where we could explode in pursuit of our passions, and where opportunities were not scarce. Stesha Doku Charlotte, NC

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