Stephanie Kenick, 2012

Stephanie Kenick earned two certificates in 2012, one from LSGS and the other from Children in Contemporary Society (CCS). Stephanie is from Tacoma, Wash., majored in Sociology, and had these words to say about her years at Duke:

My career goals have changed a lot since my freshman year and I have been fortunate to have many resources available to me that have brought me to the right path. Freshman year, thinking I wanted to be an environmental scientist, I participated in the Focus Group which concentrated on environmental engineering and sustainable practices. By second semester, I wanted to be a teacher after taking classes with a service-learning component, an awesome opportunity that connects Duke students to the Durham community.

Sophomore year opened my eyes to issues Latinos face, especially educational and institutional barriers, so my career goals changed from being focused on individuals (teaching) to community as a policy-maker. My Duke experience has been filled with opportunities I would have never imagined. I have done service abroad in Costa Rica with a community service group, Circle K International, and studied abroad in the wonderful city of Madrid, Spain. I have participated in an alternative Fall Break program in which a group of women traveled to New Orleans and helped rebuild homes devastated by Hurricane Katrina. I received funding through a Duke fellowship to conduct my very own research in the Durham Latino communities, an opportunity I am grateful and excited for, and I hope to participate in a domestic DukeEngage program this summer. My involvement in Mi Gente and Duke Students for Humane Borders has ignited my passion for Latino issues and for helping the diverse communities that Latinos become a part of and/or create. It has allowed me to create my own community within the Duke campus. Duke isn’t perfect, but I have definitely been able to mold my experience according to what I want college to be like for me. Without a doubt, I have taken advantage of my Duke experience and been able to participate in some amazing projects.

All of this combined brings me to the path I am on and will continue on: law school for immigration and education law and reform. I have bounced around a lot and Duke has allowed me to experiment and to pursue different tracks. The different paths I have taken have been bumpy (college isn’t easy!) but I am certain that at the end of the road the opportunities Duke provides, the various experiences I have had, and the incredible people I have met here will have made it all worthwhile. Duke has a lot to offer, you just have to explore!

UPDATE! Today, Stephanie teaches at a small Christian middle school in Albuquerque, N.M. that is funded by private donations. She teaches World Cultures, History of New Mexico, and 6th and 7th grade Math. Her passion regarding Latinidad and Latino Studies helped her acquire the job. She is the only fluent Spanish speaker (aside from the part-time Spanish teachers). She hopes to serve as a figure of support for the people in the surrounding community.