Hometown: Raleigh, NC Highschool: Leesville Road High School Major: Public Policy Studies (Pre-Med)
Edwin (Will)'s Bio
Future Plans: Attend medical school to earn MD and MPH
â€˘ Class of 2014 Advocacy Award
â€˘ Internship with Rural Community Health Program in Florence, SC
â€˘ Comparative Healthcare internship in Nicaragua and Coast Rica
â€˘ Research Internship with Duke Program on Global Health and Technology Access
â€śBeing a Benjamin N. Duke Scholar is not a mold. It is an inspiration. As a B.N. Duke Scholar, you are part of one of the brightest communities around, but also a group of scholars committed to improving the lives of others. Being a B.N. Duke scholar gives you the community to inspire and encourage you to envision incredible things, and then provides the resources to do them.â€ť
In 1893, the State of North Carolina adopted an official motto, â€śEsse quam videriâ€ť usually translated as â€śTo Be, Rather Than To Seemâ€ť. As a North Carolinian, I take pride in this phrase and attempt to put it into action in my life.
I am a Tar Heel. Now, let me clarify that does not mean I ever in my life cheered for that school a few miles down the road, but rather that I am a proud North Carolinian from birth. I lived in Raleigh for 18 years, graduating from Leesville Road High School, and was a leader in the marching band, the cross-country team, and as Senior Class President.
The Benjamin N. Duke Scholarship chose me not because of a lengthy resume or due to a certain grade point average, but rather because of a willingness to be a leader and a commitment to serving others. The idea is not that those are two distinct actions, but rather that being a servant and being a leader are, in fact, one in the same.
This charge is laid out for all scholars entering the program. Scholars take pride in their community and constantly look for ways to serve and improve those around them. While at Duke, honored as a Benjamin N. Duke Scholar, I have begun to take this idea even more seriously.
As a freshman, I became involved with several service-minded groups, looking to become a leader. I coordinated and recruited for the jail ministry with Campus Crusade for Christ (usually called â€śCruâ€ť) to visit local inmates in Durham every week. Yet even with this going on, I found plenty of time for cold nights in a luxurious tent in Krzyzewskiville to earn front row seats for the biggest sports rivalry game of the year, while covered in paint and cheering my lungs out as a Cameron Crazie.
After my freshman year, the BN took me to Marion SC as part of my Carolina Summer of Service. There, I worked in a community health center and learned from my mentor what it really means to be a physician of the people. After my sophomore year, I pursue the same goal and headed south to Nicaragua and Costa Rica, serving in a two different community health centers, for my International Summer of Service, studying the healthcare systems of each country.
These experiences inspired me to not just serve, but to also approach the problems with innovative solutions. Working part-time as a research assistant for the Program on Global Health and Technology Access, Iâ€™ve learned to take an innovative approach to healthcare and work towards equity, health, and access worldwide.
What I do comes from what I am passionate about. I love my faith, my community and my university, and I have reached to better and empower all three.
As I grew up in Raleigh, a neighborhood mentor told me about a term he called â€śgive-backâ€ť. This idea is that something is given to you such as support, leadership, or encouragement, but that when it is your time to lead, you have a responsibility to give back in greater magnitude to enable others to give back in the same way. This concept has stuck with me and is fundamental to the Benjamin N. Duke Scholarship program. My family and my community have given me the opportunity to grow strong and become a leader. Duke University has given me the opportunity to learn and excel. Now, equipped with the faith, strength and leadership that I have been taught, it has become my turn to think, to act, and to be.
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
B. N. Duke Scholars collaborate with community groups. Find out more about our community partners and how your group can partner with us.