On this episode, we speak with Dayna Kent. She’s a graduate of Edward Waters College. Dayna currently serves as Vice President of Membership for the UNCF National Alumni Council. Her vast HBCU advocacy reaches from Germany to the DMV area where she served as President of the DC Metropolitan Alumni Chapter for Edward Waters College and as a board member for UNCF’s Washington Inter Alumni Council. During this episode, we discuss her HBCU experience, philanthropy, and how a chance encounter with the late great Johnnie Cochran started it all.
Dayna Kent is an educator and advocate who has a great concern for her students’ education, aptitude, and well-being. She cares about students’ needs and is always alert to obstacles that may affect their performances. Students motivate the fire which burns in her heart to make a difference in their future and fuels the energy that she has of being an educator. Dayna believes all students should be taught with an individualistic approach and an open heart and that, as an educator, if one responds to students by meeting them where they are, then he/she can truly impact the paths of their lives.
Dayna lived in Heidelberg, Germany from 1996-2000. While in Heidelberg, she was a charter member of the Youth Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and served as its first president. As President of the Heidelberg, Germany Youth Chapter of the NAACP, she proposed and hosted the first Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) College Fair at Heidelberg High School in the fall of 1998. Dayna graduated from Heidelberg High School in 2000. She arrived at Edward Waters College (Jacksonville, Florida) full of excitement and geared up to begin her new journey in her post-secondary education on August 18, 2000.
Ms. Kent became fully involved with the Student Government Association (SGA) as well as other student activities on campus. She was a charter member of the campus’ National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), and NAACP collegiate chapters. She was appointed the first Woman editor of the ‘Women on The Move’ newsletter by then President Dr. Jimmy Jenkins. She was also initiated in the Omicron Beta chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. in April 2003. Dayna earned her bachelor’s degree (Area of Studies) in 2004.
Dayna has dedicated her life and career to the advancement of young people, especially those from at-risk communities.
As an educator in the Prince George’s County, MD and the District of Columbia Public School systems, Dayna has won numerous awards, including the National Citizenship Education Teacher Award, Teacher of the Year Award Recipient, National Citizenship Education Veterans of Foreign War. She was the first to coordinate a college tour to Beacon College in Leesburg, Florida (the first and only accredited four-year College for students with learning disabilities, ADHD and gifted LD). She has also provided support to over 300 students as the first generation “Gear-Up Coordinator” (A Federally Funded Grant Program).
In this capacity, she prepared low-income students for post-secondary education by providing them with support in completing applications for college and university admission, federal financial aid and various scholarship packages. She coordinated local and out of town college visits and orientations and closely monitored their progress and advised the Gear-Up students and their parents through their respective college careers.
Dayna has held elected position in her sorority alumnae chapter as well as on former jobs. She served as a sub-committee lead for Delta G.E.M.S. (Growing and Empowering Myself Successfully) for young woman in the D.C. Metropolitan Area. Delta G.E.M.S. coordinates various college preparatory workshops, public and community service projects, college tours and social outings. She is also a graduate of the 2013 Eastern Region E3 Energy, Education and Empowerment Leadership class which was completed and recognized at the sororities 51st National Convention and centennial celebration. Since graduating from EWC, she has supported the college through outstanding fundraising and student recruitment efforts.
As one of the charter members and former President of the DC Metropolitan Alumni Chapter of the EWC National Alumni Association, Inc. she continues to work diligently to provide students of the DMV area with the opportunity for a quality education by fundraising and partnering with large funding organizations to support the mission of the EWCNAA chapters. Dayna currently serves on the Executive Board for Washington Inter Alumni Chapter UNCF as the Vice President for Programs. Dayna is a third-generation HBCU graduate who was born to become a leader of her time.