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

City officials closed San Francisco County Jail No. 4 on the top floor of the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. in September, reducing the number of beds in the jail system by about 400. 
Kevin N. Hume/
S.F. Examiner
SF jail closure prompts doctor to call for release of more inmates

Reduced space increases risk of COVID-19 spreading among those in custody

Cyclists have flocked to Market Street since private vehicles were largely banned from a long stretch of it in January. (Amanda Peterson/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Plans for sidewalk-level bikeway on Market Street dropped due to costs, increased cyclist volume

Advocates say revisions to Better Market Street fail to meet safety goals of project

Prop. 21 would allow San Francisco city officials to expand rent control to cover thousands more units. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tenant advocates take another try at expanding rent control with Prop. 21

Measure would allow city to impose new protections on properties 15 years or older

Tenderloin residents are finding benefits to having roads closed in the neighborhood. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Should there be fewer cars in the Tenderloin’s future?

The pandemic has opened San Franciscans’ eyes to new uses of urban streets

Singer-songwriter Cam is finding musicmaking to be healing during 2020’s world health crisis. 
Courtesy 
Dennis Leupold
Cam challenges country music tropes

Bay Area-bred songwriter releases ‘The Otherside’

Most Read