Hometown: Rome, NY
high school: Rome Free Academy
college: Princeton University
MAJOR: Earth Science
GRAD. PROGRAM: Wake Forest School of Business
Devin Blake Kilpatrick was born on March 26, 1997, to April and Roosevelt Kilpatrick, Jr, in Rome, New York, where he has lived his whole life. He has two younger brothers, Brendan and Cameron, who are 21 and 19 at the time of this writing. Cameron was also named a Ron Brown Scholar in 2018.
Devin’s parents made his education a priority and Devin was taught how to read and write by his mother before school started. At age four he entered the Rome City School District, a rural, lower-middle-class district in Upstate New York. From a young age, it was evident that Devin had been blessed with academic talents, and his family and teachers strove to make sure that he would have all the educational opportunities he could desire. After graduating as valedictorian from Rome Free Academy in 2015, Devin enrolled in Princeton University.
Although Devin initially believed that he would study Geosciences, he realized his passions and talents were more aligned with Social Science and the Humanities. Devin developed a working proficiency in Spanish during his time at Princeton, which he used to conduct research in Guatemala and Mexico. His Senior Thesis, “Sojourners from Central America”, focused on the experiences of Guatemalan migrants and deportees as they travelled thousands of miles from their home country to the United States. Ultimately, Devin graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in Sociology and Latin American Studies.
While at Princeton, Devin became heavily involved as a student representative to administration. As a member of the University Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid, he advocated for rural and low-income students, ultimately helping to secure a “move-in allowance” for incoming first-year students. As a member of the CPUC Naming Committee, Devin lent his perspective to an effort to diversify the names of spaces and places on Princeton’s campus. During his tenure on the committee, the University named its admissions and financial aid building after Nobel Prize in Literature winner and former Princeton professor Toni Morisson. During his senior year, Devin served as part of a panel that selected Karen Richardson to be Princeton’s new Dean of Undergraduate Admissions.
One of Devin’s most important traits is his love of music. He began piano lessons at the age of five and has continued to play throughout his life. He showed exceptional talent at a young age, earning A+ adjudication scores on NYSSMA solos as early as second grade. Devin worked as an organist at St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Lee Center, NY, during high school, which allowed him to amplify his faith through his musical talents Devin also is a classical and contemporary vocalist who sang as part of the Princeton University Glee Club and the Princeton University Nassoons.
Devin considers himself an incredibly blessed individual and is thankful for the relatively problem-free life he has led so far. However, his father passed away in the summer of 2014 at the age of fifty. Devin has worked hard since to honor his father’s legacy of service and commitment to family. Through previous summer internships in Miami and Myanmar, Devin served as an English teacher to students from disadvantaged communities. He hopes to one day work as a Superintendent of Schools for a major school district with a large Hispanic/Latino population, as such a role would allow him to combine his love for education with his desire to enact meaningful change in the lives of others. In July 2019, Devin enrolled in the Wake Forest University School of Business’ Masters in Management program. After the completion of his Masters Degree, Devin hopes to earn further degrees in education and/or law.