Danielle Caradine, a senior Biology major, who hails from East Saint Louis, Illinois, had the opportunity to attend the taping the annual UNCF fundraiser, "An Evening of Stars" in Los Angeles, California. "An Evening of Stars" will air on BET on January 27, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. central time.
Danielle received this opportunity as a result of her election as National Pre-
Alumni Council president during the National UNCF Conference held in February 2012. As president, Danielle represents all Pre-Alumni Council of the 38 UNCF-member institutions around the country.
Danielle participates in several campus activities and organizations including the Rust College Pre-Alumni Council of which she held the office of President during the 2011-2012 academic year. Her above-average grade point average made her eligible to be inducted into the Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society, and the Earnest A. Smith Honors Society of Rust College. She also works as an Orientation Workshop Leader, helping new students transition into college life after high school.
Danielle is a young woman who sees her future brightly. As a biology major, she plans to graduate in 2013, and then pursue a Master's degree in Business Administration with a concentration in healthcare.
"I love leadership and administrative roles, and being a biology major, I think the healthcare field is where I could really fit in and do great work," she says. Danielle is the first member of her family to attend college. Some in the same position may feel pressure to do well because
they are the first – Danielle, however, takes it in stride. She says she draws motivation from different sources, but her biggest sources of inspiration are her faith in God and her father.
"My dad passed away last summer but I still remember things he told me. At times I have wanted to quit and just go home but I think of him and how he would motivate me by telling me 'I know it seems hard, but you can do it. Just finish.'"
She says she is also motivated by the United Negro College Fund and her involvement in the national fundraising campaign."Working with UNCF has been exciting! Being elected national president has really opened my eyes and I've been able to do things and go places I've never dreamed of going.
It has also allowed me to see what levels of leadership I can obtain and how
I am able to handle the challenges of a leadership position," she said. "This experience has really made me understand the mission of UNCF and how important it is to support an organization that really believes in students and what they can achieve."
In February 2012, Danielle was part of the winning team who placed first in the 2012 Southern Conference on African American Studies (S.C.A.A.S.I.) - National Quiz Bowl in Houston, Texas. She also interned with the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) during the summer of 2012, and from that experience was nominated to be a NASA Student Ambassador.
She has attended conferences at regional universities in hopes to gain more knowledge and experience in the field of biology, including traveling to Vanderbilt University to attend an open house for their graduate chemistry program in molecular biology.
When asked what her passion is, she said she just wants to be able to provide a comfortable and stable life for herself and her family."I just want to have peace of mind. I want to be at peace with what I'm doing in life -- not because someone else wants me to do or be a certain thing, but because I want to do it."
Danielle is certainly a student with a strong mind and leadership ability. She always has a smile and a greeting for all who cross her path. Her passion for helping and guiding others has already pushed her to be an exceptional student at Rust College and an exceptional young woman overall.