Meet 2018 Spring Ceremony Student Speaker Breyonna Pinkney

Baltimore native and graduating electrical engineering senior Breyonna Pinkney cherishes the memories of her mother's calm, caring and nurturing personality. Pinkney was only thirteen years old when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Her mother passed away within a few months of the diagnosis. Pinkney helped her father take care of her three younger siblings and soon realized that this life-altering event was an abundant source of inspiration and strength.

In loving memory of her mother, Pinkney decided to dedicate her life to the service of others. She wanted to make a significant contribution to cancer research. She also wanted to provide resources to her community for mental health awareness, as she recognized that she did not want to misplace the emotions associated with her mother's sudden and early death. This was a calling for her to help others dealing with similar issues.

Pinkney started Pinkney Promise, a non-profit organization through which she would host varied events for the community. The goal was to provide inspiration to others through holistic activities that support mental health awareness.

Pinkney was inspired to become an electrical engineer by a female high school STEM educator who served as a role model and mentor. Prior to attending STEM conferences at her high school, she was interested in becoming a medical doctor. When she learned that becoming an engineer would enable her to become a technological innovator in cancer research, she knew she had found her future career.

Pinkney joined Howard University in Fall 2014. In the summer of 2016, she served as an electrical engineering intern at Harvard University and one of only two African-American female students. The internship at Harvard University was as challenging as it was rewarding for her. Pinkney also gained valuable experience as an electrical engineering intern at Intel Corporation in 2017, which "pushed her to new heights" as a junior in college; she missed the guidance and mentorship that she was so accustomed to at Howard University. Remarkably, Pinkney continued hosting events for the African-American community through Pinkney Promise, even while away from home.

As she prepares her speech for the 2018 CEA Recognition and Awards ceremony, Pinkney feels nothing but gratitude for the endless opportunities in her life.

Pinkney will serve as an electrical engineer for the Boeing Company beginning in the fall.

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