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Ekanem Heads To Duke

By Staff | Aug 17, 2016

Next week Amika Ekanem, of New Martinsville, will head to North Carolina where she will begin the next chapter of her life – college. For many, North Carolina brings to mind warm temperatures, the ocean… perhaps vacation. Ekanem has no time for vacationing however. The daughter of Dr. Ibanga and Andrea Ekanem will be hitting the textbooks hard at Duke University, where she will study Pre-Med, Global Health and Neuroscience.

The 2016 Linsly School graduate stated that she has always been interested in science, specifically the medical field. “I feel like I would be able to make an impact on people,” further elaborating that she thinks it “is interesting in how science can be applied to help people.”

It appears as if years of hard work and dedication has paid off for Ekanem. She was part of the National Honor Society, an AP Scholar, a recipient of the Headmaster’s Award and also received First Honors at Linsly.

The humble Ekanem is quick to credit her parents for their support however.

“The application took a lot of help from my parents,” she stated. “My parents have always supported me, which I’ve always appreciated,” she added.

“Sometimes I think they have supported me more than I have supported myself.”

Ekanem, who has three younger siblings, also credited her faith for playing a role in her success.

“Something that was very important to me was my Christian faith. I’ve always trusted in God no matter what, even when I was looking at the application. My faith has helped me keep my identity in check. The school I go to doesn’t define who I am or change who I am. It is a nice achievement, but with or without this achievement I know my identity is in Christ.”

Ekanem’s advice to 2017 high school seniors is to enjoy their last year of high school.

“It goes by really fast. Enjoy your last moments in high school. Continue to work hard and finish strong.”

Although Ekanem is a little nervous about the workload for her freshman year at Duke University, she said she’s not too nervous about leaving West Virginia. “I am more excited than anything to have a change in scene. West Virginia has treated me well and I know my family will still be there for me, so I’m excited to have a new home away from home.”

Ekanem plans on joining a Christian organization at Duke University, as well as perhaps a medical-type of club. She also wants to volunteer. She would also like to play club, or intramural tennis, as she played full-time varsity tennis at Linsly.

Wherever her future lies at Duke, Ekanem is quick to return the topic to her family and faith, both of which she credits for her success.

“I feel like my parents have helped me a lot – encouraging me, reading through my applications, and doublechecking everything. And of course, I credit God.”