VIDEO: Danielle Mullings Struggled With Shyness, Now Living ‘First Class’ DreamNovember 11, 2022
Danielle Mullings holds a top notch degree in software engineering, is a former head girl of the illustrious Campion College, and is immediate past president of the Guild of Students at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona.
However, she once lived a contradiction of the courage she now exudes.
“I had really really bad stage fright from I was little coming straight up to high school… I would sit at the back of the class; I wouldn’t raise my hands and ask any question,” she told The Beacon. “That is something I really had to work at. Even now I get very nervous before going up on stage.”
When Mullings graced the stage as valedictorian at her graduation last week Friday, November 4, she had many reasons to celebrate. Her mere presence there was one of them.
“Two of my goals when starting the University of the West Indies were to become a UWI Open Scholar and to graduate with first class honours,” she noted. “I was awarded the UWI Open Scholarship at the end of my first year. Now, at the end of my third year, I have been blessed to not only have my degree awarded, but to do so with the highest level of honours.”
Mullings now holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Software Engineering and a minor in Film Studies.
“There were times when I doubted myself because of the volume of work, but I worked overtime, sometimes beyond midnight,” she told The Beacon. “This has resulted in helping other people to believe in themselves and their capabilities.”
The scholar delivered the best results in what could be characterized as the best of times and the worst of times. It’s a time when the COVID-19 pandemic virtually had the world and its education systems in a tailspin.
“When you think about it, you realize that this year’s group [of graduates] has been tested more than any before it and so can only be more resilient and more ready to face the world’s challenges…” she said in her valedictory address, eliciting cheers from her batch-mates.
She added: “My fellow graduates, don’t underestimate your light, no matter where it rises from. Always remember your worth and display your full potential.”
Mullings has always displayed great potential in different areas, including those linked to her chosen field of software engineering.
In 2018, she was placed seventh in Jamaica for CAPE Computer Science, administered by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC). In the previous year, she finished eighth in the entire Caribbean in the same subject.
On top of that, Mullings, over the years, won a number of competitions related to technology. She also established herself as a pre-eminent advocate in the area, having served in two global technology-based advocacy groups – Transform Health and Tech For Health.
Her fondness of technology and creativity, she explained, began with her creating and presenting stories to her classmates at Stella Maris Prep School, where she was an honour roll student. It was encouraged by her parents, Kevin and Jasneth Mullings, who bought her first camera and Science books.
“I have always been in love with technology and film or media,” she declared.
Mullings also has a knack for leadership.
In high school, she served as head girl (2017-2018), president of the basketball association, president of the photography club, and yearbook editor-in-chief (2016-2017).
Those leadership roles would have prepared her for even greater things, including her stint as president of the UWI Guild of Students.
Mullings stated that, during her tenure, she spearheaded fundraising campaigns geared towards providing laptops for students and sensitizing them about opportunities in the technology industry. Those initiatives were particularly timely as the world was drifting more towards technology during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mullings, a UNICEF U-Report Jamaica Ambassador (2018-2020), is also passionate about media and communication. She produced and hosted the youth series dubbed GenZed on TVJ. She also wrote for the Gleaner newspaper’s technology section and its Youthlink publication. And she dabbles in painting and photography.
According to Mullings, she ultimately would like to be remembered as someone who has a track record of excellence and who inspires others to go after what sets their hearts on fire.
She also advised: “You have to believe in yourself. Sometimes other people won’t believe in you or sometimes society will kind of try to put you in a box. It’s up to you to define who you want to be. Don’t count yourself out. You have to first believe in yourself. And whatever you want, it is going to take hard work.”
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