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22 Year-Old Graduates As Virginia’s First Black Nanoscientist

Recent Virginia Tech grad, Ginai Seabron said she always noticed that she was the only black student in her major classes, but she never thought she would be the first.

The 22 year-old Richmond native has made her mark on Virginia by becoming the state’s first black female nanoscientist. Seabron graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Virginia Tech’s nanoscience program. Her photo from her May 11 has gone viral, gaining over 14k retweets and 74k likes on Twitter.

Seabron tells NBC12 she verified her history-making moment by simply doing a little research.

“We talked to the department head and he looked it up and confirmed it, ” she said.

Nanoscientists study the structure and materials on a scale of nanometers. Virginia Tech is one of two schools in the state to have it. The nanoscience program is part of the college’s Academy of Integrated Science.

During the commencement ceremony, she shared that it wasn’t always easy being the “only black girl” but giving up was never an option.

“It is not easy at all being the only African-American in the room. It’s intimidating.” she tells the Virginia Tech News. “I’ve actually helped a few other people in my black community transfer into the nanoscience department.”

One of Seabron’s biggest cheerleaders throughout this process was her mother, Sherita, who kept her daughter’s spirits up through prayer and encouragement.

“Pray with her, tell her she can make it, never give up. That wasn’t an option for her,” Sherita says.

Photo Credit: Twitter/Ginai Seabron

Seabron’s accomplishment was also featured on the school’s Instagram page in which she shared some advice on productivity and how to make the most out of your day, scholastically.

“Continue to push,” she suggests. “Rely on your family and your friends. Reach out to your professors. Go to office hours. Create your own office hours if you have to. Be social. Step out of your comfort zone. Get to know the people in your class — they could become your study buddies. You’ll think you’re the only person struggling, but as it turns out, everybody’s struggling.”


While at Virginia Tech, Seabron served as the president of the Black Organizations Council and was a member of Enlightened Gospel Choir. She has always had a mentoring spirit to help others. During her sophomore year, she was a teacher assistant and a resident advisor during her junior year.

“I love helping others, and in every single one of those positions, I’ve had the great opportunity of meeting and helping out other people,” she says. “And they’ve also helped me through.”

The university is hoping Seabron’s story will help attract more minorities to the school . According to, less than 4% of Virginia Tech undergraduate students are African-American versus the 67% white students.

Photo Credit: Virginia Tech News

“We’re proud of her success,” says Virginia Tech President Tim Sands, who met Ginai during her freshmen year. “And I greatly appreciate her many contributions to the university community. Her strength and insight have been very helpful to me in our efforts to make the Virginia Tech experience more inclusive. I have no doubt that great things are ahead for her.”

In the meantime., Seabron plans to intern at Virginia Tech before returning back to school. Her story is proof that with hard work and dedication, anyone could accomplish their dreams. And who knows, while doing so, you just may make history in the process!

Source: The Michael Baisden Show (a shared partnership)