3-Minute Interview: Danielle Benjamin-Arrington

The 2008 UC Berkeley graduate and Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar, who enrolled in college two weeks after her mother was killed, will be at AT&T Park today to present a scholarship sponsored by the Giants in conjunction with the JRF. Benjamin-Arrington co-founded Akanke, a program that pairs female black students at Cal with teenagers in a Richmond housing project.

How were you able to focus on education after your mother was killed? I learned to stop focusing on the little things in life and be grateful for what I had. I had a lot of people supporting me through my first year, and they really got me over the hump.

What was it like your freshman year after growing up in Los Angeles? I grew up in an area that was predominantly black and Latino, and Berkeley was the complete opposite. But I learned to adjust and navigate my way, and the people from the Jackie Robinson Scholarship Foundation were always there to help.

How has receiving the Jackie Robinson Scholarship changed your life? When I first received the scholarship, I thought it was just going to be a check that I would use for my tuition, but it is so much more than that. There is a family environment with the other scholars, and the foundation teaches us so much about how to be young professionals.

What was the motivation for founding Akanke? I saw a lot myself in the girls we visited [at the Monterey Pines Housing Project], so I thought, why not help? Why not share my experiences while these girls’ minds are still impressionable?

Bay Area NewsLocalTransittransportation

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Recology executives have acknowledged overcharging city ratepayers. (Mira Laing/2017 Special to S.F. Examiner)
Recology to repay customers $95M in overcharged garbage fees, city attorney says

San Francisco’s waste management company, Recology, has agreed to repay its customers… Continue reading

A construction worker watches a load for a crane operator at the site of the future Chinatown Muni station for the Central Subway on Tuesday, March 3, 2021. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli / Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Major construction on Central Subway to end by March 31

SFMTA board approves renegotiated contract with new deadline, more contractor payments

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Settlement clears path for all youth, high school sports to resume in California

John Maffei The San Diego Union-Tribune All youth and high school sports… Continue reading

State to reserve 40 percent of COVID-19 vaccines for hard-hit areas

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation State officials said Thursday that… Continue reading

Neighbors and environmental advocates have found the Ferris wheel in Golden Gate Park noisy and inappropriate for its natural setting. <ins>(</ins>
Golden Gate Park wheel wins extension, but for how long?

Supervisors move to limit contract under City Charter provision requiring two-thirds approval

Most Read