Duke LIFE Student Group

Duke LIFE logo.Mission:

The mission of the Duke LIFE (Low-Income, First-Generation Engagement) student group is to create and provide community space, resources, and advocacy for students on Duke’s campus who identify as first-generation and/or low-income. The organization aims to use the energy and creativity of its members to advocate for a Duke that is more inclusive, comfortable, and welcoming of the first-generation/low-income identity. These goals will be accomplished by hosting events focused on bringing the community together and creating identity development programs and activities relevant to the wants and needs of organization members and all First-Generation and/or Low-income students at Duke. 

2019-2020 Student Leadership Team:


JamieMy name is Jamal Burns and I am a rising Junior from Saint Louis, Missouri. At Duke, I have a declared major in history with a concentration on the history of education and activism in the US. Aside from DukeLIFE, I am the president of my dorm’s house council and invest time into slam poetry and other forms of artistic expression. After undergrad, I intend to continue my education in a masters or PhD program, and wish to hopefully become a principal.
IbrahimMy name is Ibrahim Butt and I am serving as the co-president of Duke LIFE alongside Jamal Burns this upcoming year! I’m a senior from Blackburn, England - a small town in northern England that no one has ever heard about. At Duke, I’m majoring in political science and also getting the Human Rights certificate. I’m interested in international governance, refugee rights and creating sustainable opportunities and policies for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers to integrate into their new countries! At Duke, catch me either in the Il Forno line grabbing a cookie, or on the third floor of Perkins Library cramming for a test!


Vice Presidents:

Jacqueline Perez My name is Jacqueline Perez and I am a junior from Palmetto, Florida. I'm grateful to be serving as Duke LIFE's Vice President of Low-Income Engagement. I aim to highlight the voices of low-income students on Duke's campus and initiate conversations to find solutions to the common struggles that LI students face. At Duke, I'm majoring in both global health and international comparative studies. Outside of Duke LIFE, I'm an intern at the Duke Student Wellness Center, on Mi Gente's executive board, and currently undergoing EMT certification and training. After Duke, I plan on pursuing a master's in public health to continue working with underserved communities.
KayleeMy name is Kaylee Brilhart and I am the Vice President of Advocacy for Duke LIFE. I’m from Pineland, Florida and am a current senior at Duke, majoring in Public Policy, minoring in Education and pursuing a Civic Engagement and Social Change Certificate. After Duke, I am planning on going to law school and hope to become a public defender. "Don't invalidate any struggles of being low-income," Letter to the editor, Duke Chronicle. Feb. 2019.


Sarah KaneMy name is Sarah Kane and I am a Junior for Cape Coral, Florida and the Vice President of Community Building of Duke LIFE. I am majoring in Public Policy with a minor  in History and a Human Rights Certificate. Other than Duke LIFE, I am also involved in the Chorale and Human Rights Student Advisory Board.



TaylorMy name is Taylor Braswell, and I am a junior from Atlanta, Georgia. I am currently serving as the treasurer for Duke LIFE! I am majoring in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience. Aside from Duke LIFE, I am the Director of Communications for the Black Student Alliance, a Global Education Ambassador, and a member of Duke Swing Dance Club. 


Faculty Mentors:


John Blackshear, PhD
Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
Trinity College





Molly Goldwasser, PhD
Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Undergraduate Education
Trinity College