In our newest filmed performance of Raise Our Voices, Starlight Star Danielle Woods chose to share John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change.” She hopes the song helps to lift others’ spirits, as it does for her and her family. When asked why she chose the song, she said that waiting for change is exactly what black people have been doing for generations—but now times are different.
“The resilience of those who fought and continue to fight for justice and equality reminds me that when I am faced with difficult situations in my personal life, I am strong enough to overcome them,” Danielle said. “I am inspired by the strength we continue to show through these difficult times.”
Danielle’s optimistic outlook shines through. She credits the strong women who raised her with shaping her as a loyal friend and daughter, and she hopes to raise even stronger children in the future. But just because Danielle is positive, it doesn’t mean she’s blind to the injustices in society today.
“If you take away the amount of money someone has, where they live, who they love, the color of their skin, how tall they are, how skinny or large they are, what do you have left? Muscles, bones, blood and a brain that allows us to have cognitive thoughts. This is the foundation of the human race,” Danielle said. “We bleed the same, we are all habit-driven, emotional creatures with the capacity to think and, yet, we can't find it in our hearts—that beat the same—to love each other.”
Danielle is determined to use her voice to fight for others and be a leader, as she was in the Starlight Stars. She participated in the program from 2017-2019, and at the end of the 2018 season Starlight awarded her a $500 scholarship for her commitment and leadership in the program.
A recent graduate, Danielle will head to Missouri Western State University this fall and aspires to be a veterinarian or doctor. She knows hard work and dedication will get her where she wants to be. She encourages younger students not to let fear stop them from reaching their goals, but rather to push themselves and have faith that their hard work will pay off.
“I am a beautiful, black, intelligent woman who will continue to use her voice to educate people. I am someone with a voice that will be heard,” Danielle said. We agree, Dani, and are confident you will use your powerful voice to improve the world for future generations.
See Danielle’s full performance here: