MIAMI SHORES (CBSMiami) – A 20-year-old Miami Shores native is making history as the first Black female President of MIT’s student body.
Her campaign message was Unity, Equity and Authenticity, and now that she is the President-elect, the incoming Junior plans on turning that message into action.
“I’m very excited and humbled to serve my community in this way. Historically, the student government [at MIT] hasn’t been as inclusive as it should be, so I’m excited to be kind of the face of it,” said Danielle Geathers. “MIT has struggled with Black women matriculation in the past, so I think we’re working with the admissions office to try to increase that.”
Danielle is a mechanical engineering major who plans on minoring in African-American and Diaspora studies. She is also in the Black Student Union and Black Women’s Alliance on Campus. She started a program called ‘Talented 10’ to increase Black women matriculation at MIT. The program received 180 applicants at the beginning of this year and 10 were selected. All 10 are Black women who are also incoming high school seniors. Through the program, they’ll receive guidance and coaching through the college admissions process.
“Hopefully, they’ll come to MIT,” said Danielle. “Those are my 10 girls out there. I hope they all get in.”
As an alum of Miami Country Day School, where she was one of the few Black students, Danielle knows how important that mentorship can be. She wrote a book called ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’ as a high school Senior.
“It was about the microaggressions and ‘othering’ around my hair,” said Danielle. “The idea of writing a book to prepare young girls for unfortunately what they would experience. [It’s a] community shared feeling of ‘I’ve gone through that.'”
Still, Danielle feels her experience helped prepare her for the future.
“I never had a Black teacher in high school. Companies don’t have Black board members,” said Danielle. [We] really need to continue to push for representation.”
Now with her new position, she’ll continue pushing for that representation and for the entire student body. Her running mate in the campaign is an Asian-American woman and Danielle said she wants to do more for Indigenous students.
“We still celebrate Columbus Day,” said Danielle. “We’re really trying to push before October to celebrate Indigenous Day.”
It may start with change on campus, but with Danielle’s ambition and passion, she’ll likely change the world too.
“How can we use our economic process, our global platform, to increase global economic equity for everyone,” said Danielle.