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Goodnight Spotlight: Danielle Cain

When senior Danielle Cain ‘T22 was younger, she was given the nickname “Journey” by her grandmother because she was “constantly on the go” between school and extracurricular activities! Although Danielle explains that “Journey” has phased out, the nickname still represents her path in life. Only 3 weeks away from graduation at NC State, Danielle reflects on growing up and graduating high school in Jamaica, moving to the United States, and getting ready to walk the stage at NC State’s Class of 2022 graduation ceremony.

Goodnight Scholars Program: Tell me about yourself and your journey to GSP?

Danielle Cain ‘T22: My name is Danielle Cain. I was born and raised on the island of Jamaica. As a young child, my grandmother gave me the nickname “Journey” as I was constantly on the go. I was typically up from 4:00am to head off to preschool, and would be back home around 8pm to accommodate for traffic and my mom’s work schedule. Though the nickname phased out, it truly represents my path. I got quite involved in national debate competitions while in primary-level school, where I was always awarded the best-speaker title, and for a while I was convinced I would be a lawyer! I progressed to Immaculate Conception High School, where my life truly changed for the better. My eyes had been opened and my consciousness piqued, I had been exposed to a global community where the phenomenal people around me inspired me to broaden my horizons, think outside the box, and they challenged me to view the world as my oyster while maintaining respect for self and others. After high school, I relocated to the USA where my college journey commenced despite the many barriers faced. The Goodnight Scholars Program has invested greatly in helping my dreams to be realized and has helped me with my personal growth and development.

Describe obstacles endured during your college journey?

The greatest challenge has been navigating a new country and culture. Another challenge was financial-based as at the beginning of the journey I was truly lost on how to accomplish all I aspired to, however with scholarships I have been fortunate to overcome this hurdle.

What is your major and what are your aspirations?

My major is Chemical Engineering with a minor in Spanish. I have recognized the importance of  understanding different cultures. To understand a culture one must first understand the people, a restriction is often language barriers, therefore it was a no-brainer to continue improving my Spanish fluency while in college. My major Chemical Engineering was pursued as I wanted to remain practical. Engineering offered the opportunity to problem-solve, and to think outside the box on how to remedy current challenges faced by societies. My aspirations, however, are unique to the scope of Chemical Engineering. I have spent most of my time outside the classroom immersed in healthcare spaces. My greatest joy is often derived from my interactions with patients and implementing the notion of compassionate care. I have served as a clinic assistant intern at a local non-profit clinic that provides free healthcare services to patients who lack health insurance coverage and who are living at or below the poverty line, many who are of immigrant backgrounds. My heart lies within the healthcare space, I hope that my life’s journey allows for me to derive fulfillment by serving the most vulnerable and diverse patient populations.

How have you remained grounded while in college?

My mom has been my biggest support and cheerleader. I know her entire life has been a sacrifice so that I can be the person I am today – one who dreams limitlessly. In moments of doubt and disruption, she has provided me with the source of strength needed to keep pushing forward. I appreciate her unwavering love and wisdom which have guided my steps along this journey – I owe her my everything! I have also remained grounded through the encouragement received from loved ones. All my friends and family primarily reside in Jamaica, so I spend many hours on Whatsapp keeping up with life and its happenings.
Advice for anyone who has a dream?
Living a life where you regret the things you didn’t pursue when given the opportunity is difficult. My advice to anyone who has any aspiration to accomplish any goal is to take the leap of faith and go for it. You are capable and you are enough! No matter the challenges faced, remember that the threads of determination, perseverance, and willpower are compulsory to achieve any dream.