OAKLAND, Calif., May 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, SMASH (www.smash.org) announced Danielle Rose as the new Chief Executive Officer, transitioning from her role as president. Danielle is SMASH’s first woman CEO in the organization’s 19-year history and will further expand and deepen the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education non-profit’s national presence.
SMASH weaves together STEM education, mentorship, identity development and social justice to build the confidence, networks and life skills for high achieving, yet underrepresented students of color.
“As a product of East Oakland, I know firsthand the value of STEM programs and the need for holistic and deep investment in the education of our most underserved and under-resourced students of color,” said Danielle Rose, CEO, SMASH. “After completing degrees in mathematics and mechanical engineering from Spelman College and Georgia Tech, working in the aerospace, automotive, and energy industries, I have the lived experience to inform what our youth will need to persist and succeed along their STEM journey.”
“Danielle is the right person at the right time to lead SMASH to the next level. Long before most people thought tech had a ‘diversity problem’, SMASH was training the next generation of STEM leaders,” said Dr. Freada Kapor Klein, SMASH’s founder. “She deeply understands the passion, creativity and resilience our Scholars bring. Our alumni are persisting at top colleges as STEM majors at many times the national average, and are already working in tech startups, large tech companies and across sectors. SMASH alumni bring me hope for the future of our country. Under Danielle’s leadership, we plan to launch initiatives to reach hundreds of thousands of low-income students of color in the U.S. each year.”
In her new role, Danielle will expand the SMASH program and product offering to prepare students of color for the future of work in STEM, while also deepening the organization’s national footprint with a prioritized focus on the Northeast and Southeast regions. To learn more about SMASH, or to partner with the non-profit in bringing STEM opportunities and socially-aware skills training to underserved communities, visit www.smash.org.
SMASH was launched on the University of California, Berkeley campus in 2004 by Freada Kapor in response to the lack of diversity in tech, coupled with the fabled lack of STEM interest and abilities within communities of color. SMASH is a free, multi-year STEM-intensive program that takes a long-term and holistic approach to developing low-income, first generation college students who will not only thrive in STEM careers but use their skills to effectuate change in their communities. Its mission is to build a strong, diverse and socially conscious workforce by leveling the playing field through academic learning. To date, SMASH has provided over 50,000 hours of education and its scholars have a 100% high school graduation rate.