Idalis French

2019 Student Co-Recipient 

Idalis French is a graduating senior and will receive her B.A in Psychology this May. Idalis’ nominators all spoke to her strong commitment in serving youth and the leadership she displayed to strengthen the membership of The Girls Club and expand its curriculum to help with student academic achievement, cultural exposure and mentoring. The Sullivan Award seeks to perpetuate the excellence of character and humanitarian service of Algernon Sydney Sullivan by recognizing and honoring such qualities in others.

Idalis points to her spiritual community as the constant that has kept her grounded throughout her matriculation here at Duke. She recently planned events for over 50 women attending the HerJourney annual retreat taking place this month. This same grounding and leadership development is what she has used to be the change agent and motivating force behind the growth and success of The Girls Club. She focused her presidency on addressing the needs of the middle school girls with whom they mentor and fostering a collaborative environment within the entire group. This included mediating conflicts; liaising with parents and administrators; and recruiting. She has been successful with her efforts because of her selflessness, integrity and strong character.

Additionally, Idalis manages to stretch herself and her time even further by volunteering with the Durham Nursing Rehabilitation Center where she provides companionship to the residents by sitting with them and organizing games and activities.

To paraphrase what she wrote in her personal statement, these activities are what set her heart on fire. Her involvement in this community reflects each element of her soul