As a member of the Community Engagement Core, project coordinator Davon Washington works with Durham-based community organizations and faith leaders to ensure the Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) is working on health outcomes that matter to the communities it serves.
Getting to work so closely with members of the Durham community has allowed Davon to see the full scope of CTSI’s work and how it impacts people. In his role, he is always thinking about how to better serve community members and what can be done to get Duke students involved in the process of understanding community and population health.
“It feels like the staff here really cares about the everyday life of community members,” Davon said. “I am looking forward to future partnerships as a direct result of the work we are doing now.”
Davon became interested in his role before graduating from North Carolina Central University. While working as a student volunteer at a Community Engagement-sponsored event, Davon heard about a potential opening he would be a good fit for. What initially struck Davon’s interest was CTSI’s partnership with the AME Zion Church, for which his great-grandfather was a clergy member.
“CTSI has created an opportunity for me to provide structure to things I want to achieve in life for people who look like me,” Davon said.
Davon strongly believes in the mission of CTSI, and he believes the camaraderie he has formed with his team helps them succeed in fulfilling that mission. He feels his team knows how to effectively communicate and get work done quickly and efficiently. Not only do they work well as co-workers, but they have also become close friends.
Davon also appreciates how his role allows him to learn and grow. In his personal life, he enjoys doing adventurous things like hiking, kayaking, and riding his motorcycle, and that curiosity translates into his work. As his first full-time role since graduating, he hopes to learn as much as he can to continue to achieve his own professional goals.
“I believe you should take in everything a job gives you,” Davon said. “You are never going to know everything, but you should be able to put things into practice as you learn them.”