Duke Awards Eight David M. Rubenstein Scholarships

Merit award given to first-generation college students

Class of 2025 Rubenstein Scholars
New Rubenstein Scholars, clockwise from top left: Ashley Wilson, Daphne Gomez, Israel Briones Jr., Joshua Helguera, Tochi Onuegbu, Thang Lian, Millie Evonlah and Juliana Alfonso-DeSouza

DURHAM, N.C. -- Eight incoming first-year students have been named David M. Rubenstein Scholars.

The scholarship program is a merit award for outstanding Duke undergraduates who are also first-generation college students.

The Class of 2025 scholars are:

  • Juliana Alfonso-DeSouza from San Antonio, Texas, a graduate of Claudia Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson High School
  • Israel Briones Jr. from Immokalee, Florida, a graduate of Immokalee High School
  • Millie Evonlah from Germantown, Maryland, a graduate of Northwest High School
  • Daphne Gomez from Bakersfield, California, a graduate of Mira Monte High School
  • Joshua Helguera from Los Angeles, California, a graduate of Boyle Heights STEM Magnet High School
  • Thang Lian from Kentwood, Michigan, a graduate of East Kentwood High School
  • Tochi Onuegbu from Saint Paul, Minnesota, a graduate of Harding High School
  • Ashley Wilson from Oldsmar, Florida, a graduate of East Lake High School

The program is named after David M. Rubenstein, the philanthropist and Duke alumnus, who was the first member of his family to attend college. He endowed the program in 2017.

Rubenstein Scholars are selected for their academic achievement, leadership potential and dedication to service. The program provides them with mentorship and resources to shape their paths at Duke and beyond.

In addition, generous funding is available to Rubenstein Scholars for domestic and international experiences, including opportunities for independent research both in the summer and during the academic year.

The scholars also receive a financial package from Duke that covers the full cost of tuition, room, board and mandatory fees for four years of undergraduate education. 

For more information about the David M. Rubenstein Scholars program, visit the program’s website at https://rubensteinscholars.duke.edu.