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Project Citizen 2023 Reflection: Rhiannon Camarillo (’26)

Project Citizen 2023 Student Reflections:

Rhiannon Camarillo ('26)

Rhiannon Camarillo ('26)
Rhiannon Camarillo ('26)

My first week at Duke was shaped by the dedicated orientation leaders who welcomed me to campus. As an incoming freshman, it was so valuable for me to hear from upperclassmen who I could identify with, and as I approached my sophomore year at Duke, I knew I wanted to play a similar role in welcoming students to Duke. I was especially motivated to serve as a resource for minority and low-income students like myself, offering them the same guidance I had received as a freshman.

Being a Project Citizen orientation leader this year far exceeded my expectations, and was undoubtedly one of the most rewarding experiences I have had at Duke. From greeting students on move-in day to leading Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion chats, I was able to offer tangible support to new students and truly make a difference in the Duke community.

During orientation, Project Citizen had the unique opportunity to visit Washington, D.C., where we explored the question: “What does it mean to be a good citizen?” We engaged in discussions with journalists, policymakers, and notable alumni during panels at the Duke in D.C. office, and toured D.C. landmarks including the Capitol building. This trip not only fostered learning among the PCitizen project team, but also cultivated lasting friendships within my cohort of first-years.

The POLIS faculty and this year's Project Citizen project directors created both an inclusive and vibrant environment for both students and orientation leaders to grow and learn. Their exceptional programming enabled me to form profound mentorships with students, which have extended far beyond the one-week program. I continue to offer guidance and support to my cohort, and through Project Citizen, I've discovered the strong support network that exists in POLIS and the PCitizen community.