Why I Give:
Nan Jokerst

Why Give?

Why do people choose to contribute their time and resources to Duke Doing Good? The reasons are as varied as the schools, nonprofits and neighborhoods that benefit from these gifts.

Nan Jokerst

Headshot of Nan Jokerst
Nan Jokerst, J. A. Jones Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Executive Director of the Duke Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility
Duke Pratt School of Engineering

DG giving category: Neighborhoods and Youth Empowerment

Why do you give specifically to the Neighborhoods and Youth Empowerment categories?
I’m very careful in my charitable giving because I want to support the kinds of organizations that are consistent with my values.

Being a teacher, I want to make sure that we are really giving our students all of the educational opportunities that we can, really empowering them. I’m a big believer that education is a great leveler in the United States. It’s what makes a huge, huge difference in our society.

I’m also a really big believer that if people have a home that they can take care of and that they can feel safe in, then that gives them an opportunity, sort of a safe space, that they can move out from and succeed in the greater world. So Habitat for Humanity (which is part of the Neighborhoods category) is one of my favorite charities to support. I think that’s a really important organization that supports families, because if we can break negative cycles by having a safe space for children to grow up in and a safe space for adults to raise their kids in, then I think that’s really important.

What does it mean to you to be a part of Doing Good?
Giving through Duke enables me to have a bigger impact. I feel that we can have a larger impact than if we gave individually.

The great thing about Doing Good is I know these are all quality charities because Duke is doing part of the work for me. The fact that Duke pre-selects great, local charities for me is absolutely fantastic. It saves me a lot of time from a quality control standpoint.

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