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The guiDE program provides DukeEngage alumni a pathway to continue their commitment to service and civic engagement by providing leadership, mentorship and service opportunities that support wider DukeEngage efforts on campus and beyond.



headshot of Autumn


Major: Public Policy and Global Health

Contact Autumn:

Autumn is a junior at in Trinity College from South Carolina studying Public Policy and Global Health. She created and participated in an independent project in the summer of 2019 based in Providence, Rhode Island. There, she worked with Project Weber/RENEW, a harm reduction and overdose prevention organization, in order to explore how the nonprofit health sector operates and the affects of the opioid crisis on the community. She did mobile street outreach where she distributed harm reduction kits and information, tabled at health-related events, assisted the case managers in counseling, conducted HIV/Hepatitis C tests, went to meetings regarding public sector tasks forces, supported women’s and transgender support groups, and conducted organizational duties around the office. She hopes to continue her investigation into the opioid crisis and has interest in a career around harm reduction and pharmaceutical policy.

Resource Guide

Following her summer working in Rhode Island, Autumn developed the following list of resources for students who are interested in that program — or similar programs.

Public Policy 301: Policy Analysis and Public Policy Making: gives insight into how lawmakers make their decisions and the processes that go into those decisions; the actions of the public sector greatly affect the nonprofit sector. Also, it is valuable to be able to compare the two sectors and see their strengths and weaknesses.

Biology 154: AIDS and Emerging Diseases: has a brief overview of the global opioid crisis and its biological and sociological impacts.

The local news and talking with my coworkers gave me the best insight into what was occurring in the community and the degree of danger the crisis put the people in. My Duke mentor had me read “Childhood Abuse, Neglect, and Household Dysfunction and the Risk of Illicit Drug Use: The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study” which analyzed the influence of stressful or traumatic childhoods on the development of drug addiction, “No More Addictive Personality” which broke my perception that people can be born with addictive personalities and that temperament, metabolism and development affect the inheritance of addiction, “drug Abuse: Hedonic Homeostatis Dysregulation” which dove into the more neuroscientific side of addiction, and “The Developmental Cycle of a Drug Epidemic: The Cocaine Smoking Epidemic of 1981-1991” which gave me insight into the commonalities of the various drug eras and how all of them had common catalysts.



The podcast ‘Crimetown’ described the influence of the mafia on Providence, which many people today still remember and the remnants of their reign still exist in the infrastructure of the city.

Volunteering with TROSA (a treatment facility for people with substance abuse disorders) in their education department or in their thrift store. Having a clothing/item drive and donating said items to the Durham Rescue Mission.