Virginia’s First Black Female Nanoscience—Ever—Graduates

Author: Ryan Velez

There a bit of an old adage you may have heard that you don’t want to be the first black person to do anything. It may be time to reevaluate that, as NBC12 reports on a shocking achievement one recent college graduate has made—being the first black woman ever to get a degree in nanoscience in the state of Virginia.

The honor goes to 22-year old Ginai Seabron, who notes that she was often the only person of color in her classes in Virginia Tech, but never put two and two together that she would be the only black women ever to date to make it through the program. “We talked to the department head and he looked it up and confirmed it,” said Seabron, a Richmond Community High grad. For those who think that this may just be a coincidence, Virginia Tech is one of only two schools in the whole country that offer a nanoscience program. Photos of Seabron’s graduation went viral with more than 14,000 retweets and 70,000 likes.

Being a trailblazer rarely comes without sacrifice, and for Seabron’s mother, Sherita, the most difficult thing was being three hours away from her daughter while she was at school. “Pray with her, tell her she can make it, never give up. That wasn’t an option for her.” Despite having her name in the history books already, Seabron still isn’t resting on her laurels. She is going to intern at Virginia Tech for a year before going back to school.

One notable thing about this accomplishment is the fact that Virginia Tech is sharing the story on its social media pages in hopes of attracting more minorities to the university. Traditionally, black students have always tended not only to have lower rates of admission, but higher rates of leaving school without a degree. There are a number of reasons that this takes place, but one of the largest is a lack of support and mentoring geared towards black students. We have covered a few programs in the past some universities have implemented to try and handle this issue.

In many cases, these same problems are magnified when it comes to STEM, where people of color are underrepresented. If anything, it proves that Seabron is not only extremely intelligent, but determined and independent as well—kudos to her.

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