With young people, it is sometimes difficult to measure their lives through accomplishments. They haven’t lived long enough to have had many.
This is not the case with Devaughn M. Mark.
Born on November 20th, 1997, some might say that Devaughn was destined for greatness. He immigrated to Brooklyn in the summer of 1998. Some would believe that this was the moment that paved the way to his many accomplishments but this was one of many.
His most defining moment came when Devaughn needed to be more challenged academically and his mom enrolled him at KIPP AMP Academy, in Fall of 2008, a premier public charter school. He continued at KIPP through high school.
Devaughn has excelled, academically. He has continued to be at the top of his class, graduating as the valedictorian from middle school, and as the salutatorian from high school. He is ranked 1st out of 164 graduating seniors. He has received many awards in various subjects such as Gold Medals of Excellence in Science, Physical Education and AP Environmental Science as well as Silver Medals of Excellence in Math and History.
Aside from academics, he has also excelled in his extracurricular activities. As a freshman, Devaughn was promoted to his High School’s Varsity Football team, a team which he played on through Fall 2014. Football wasn’t enough for Devaughn. He also played on KIPP’s basketball and rugby teams.
Academics and sports do not sum up Devaughn’s achievements. As an avid debater, his team was semi-finalist in the Lakeland Competitions in 2011 and 2012 as well as the winner of the Cross-Examination category in the National Hispanic Institute North East Great Debate at Villanova University in 2012.
Devaughn has also immersed himself into the community. He’s participated in the HOTNSM’ Community Service Day, as well as being heavily involved in his church’s youth group. In addition he participated and raised funds for the American Cancer Society.
On February 20, 2015 he accompanied the Ambassador of St. Lucia to the NASDAQ for the ringing of the closing bell on the 36th independence of St. Lucia. In May 2015, he was also invited to the Benefit Gala of the Robin Hood Foundation.
So, what does such a driven individual work towards?
In 3rd grade, Devaughn sustained an injury to his foot from broken glass. It required a minor procedure of the removal of glass and stitches. While sitting in the emergency room, watching the surgeon steadily sew up his wound, his life came into focus. He decided right there, that he wanted to be a surgeon. This motivation fueled the academic excellence outlined above and have also propelled Devaughn into seeking prestigious medical internship opportunities.
In the summer of 2013, Devaughn applied and was accepted into the Brooklyn Queen Long Island – Area Health Educational Center Summer Health Internship Program, where he worked at Wyckoff Medical Center.
Working in the pretesting lab gave Devaughn experience with the administrative aspects of the medical field. Then in the summer of 2014, Devaughn applied and was accepted into the Discover Hopkins Program at John Hopkins University, which is his dream medical school. His session visited the top-ranked John Hopkins Hospital which strengthened his desire to be a surgeon.
What’s more he has done all of this in a single-parent household living in the neighborhood of East New York, Brooklyn. As he heads to the University of Pennsylvania in the fall, majoring in Molecular Biology, Devaughn will be facing challenging times.
The above experiences have exposed Devaughn to a diversity of individuals whose stories have inspired Devaughn to continue to seek a life beyond Brooklyn because “it is when we step outside of our comfort zone that we begin to live.” – Unknown