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Hello to all from Seattle!
My name is Deborah and I am very excited to be a participant in Duke Engage in Seattle. I have only been here for a few days and it already appears that Seattle will have a lot to offer this summer! I am looking forward to sharing my experiences and thoughts with you over the next several weeks. First, let me tell you more about myself.
I just completed my junior year at Duke, where I major in English. Even before my arrival at Duke, I was interested in participating in a Duke Engage program. It was (and perhaps still is) a fairly new program and was an opportunity that was highly discussed and emphasized from students and faculty. Although I may be an older Duke Engage participant, I can honestly say that I am grateful not only for the timing of this opportunity, but also for the chance to relate this experiences to future aspirations that have matured and expanded over the last three years . That being said, I have already observed here at Amara (the organization where I am interning for the summer) my interests’ applicability in the “real world.”
This summer I hope to expand my academic studies on policies and laws concerning children and women. Admittedly, this may seem like a broad area of interest. However, a quick study would reveal how certain underlying themes and circumstances interrelate these areas far more closely than may appear on the surface. But, I will leave the philosophical discussions for another day 🙂 Instead, I will discuss how that interest led to Seattle and more importantly, Amara.
Although I have travelled outside of the United States, I have never in fact been to the West Coast. So, Seattle represented just as unfamiliar destination as any other unvisited location. Moreover, although I am concerned with the treatment and expectations of children and women everywhere, I hope to practice law in the United States and felt an opportunity to observe the domestic policies I had spent the past year studying and debating in my courses was very important. Another major reason for my interest in Seattle was the design of the program.
Seattle is a unique domestic program in that the participants intern at numerous organizations. The organizations that participate in this program although all unique and diverse have each demonstrated an admirable commitment to the Seattle community and have missions to better the community in several areas of importance, ranging from fitness to hunger and poverty to voter engagement to the foster care system.
I have just started my first full week at Amara Adoption Services and All-Options Pregnancy Counseling. Everyone has been extremely kind and supportive and just so inviting and welcoming to the Duke Engage program. This is Amara’s first year as a participating community partner in the program, so I am their first Duke student (no pressure, right?) Everyone is just as eager to learn about my time in Seattle and what I am doing with other students, as I am to learn more about the Amara’s mission.
Over the upcoming weeks, I look forward to talking more about Amara, adoption and the foster care system, and overall, my time here in Seattle.
Thank you for taking the time to read my early thoughts. I excited to go on this journey with you!