Jacqueline Brown-Gaines

Spelman College

Golden Women Book Scholarship Winner

Pursuing Bachelors Degree in Environmental Science

Why continuing an education is so important to her:

As Americans, we are fortunate enough to live in a society where you can come from nothing and become something. The way to do this, however, is through higher education because with knowledge comes power. Education is the key to open doors to life-changing experiences, new people, and new places. If it weren’t for learning and the drive for innovation, society could not flourish. I come from a community where not many people went to college after high school, and I frequently experience the setbacks we encounter because of this. My community consists of closed-mindedness, low income, and products of systematic oppression. I don’t want to become a product of my environment and go through the same struggles that my family and community members have had to face. That is why I thirst for higher education and am going to succeed in college and beyond.

Jacqueline is apart of:

Principal Tubist of the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles

First Chair Tubist and Section Leader of Ramon C. Cortines Symphonic Band 

First Chair Tubist of Ramon C. Cortines Jazz Band 

Member of Ramon C. Cortines Chamber Singers 

Second Chair Tubist of Colburn Conservatory Wind Ensemble 

President of The Olivet Lutheran Church “Rise Up!” Youth Group

Youth Deacon of Olivet Lutheran Church

Girl Scout Gold Award Recipient

Volunteer at Inglewood Healthcare Center

Volunteer at Wine Masters Annual Wine Tasting Extravaganza

Peer mentor at Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles

Volunteer at Nu Building Blocks Preschool

Volunteer for LA Opera

Senior Patrol Leader of Girl Scout Troop #5915 of Inglewood, CA 

Member of Black Student Union Club at Ramon C. Cortines High School 

Member of Environmental Science Club at Ramon C. Cortines High


Jacqueline, what does the term “Golden Women” mean to you?

Gold, in its metallic form, is the most malleable element on this planet. This means that it can change its shape, molded, stretched, and turned into almost anything without losing its properties. As a Golden Women, one must be able to adapt and change to fit her present situation, but never lose sight of who she truly is. Furthermore, gold is the medal that is given to the highest performing athlete in athletic competitions, and symbolizes outstanding achievement above everyone else. To be a Golden Women means to be the best, the greatest, and succeed in every endeavor that she faces. I aspire to be a Golden Woman everyday of my life because failure is not an option. Whatever I do, I put my all into, and I will never stop until I reach my goals.

Jacqueline, describe something that is plaguing young women today and explain what can be done to turn it around? What can you do to help?

One of the major issues that I see in my community of young women today is the lack of discourse about the importance of maintaining one’s mental health. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Continuously, especially in the Black community, problems like depression and anxiety are swept under the rug and seen as a “white people's disease.” Anyone, regardless of race, can suffer from anxiety and depression, and unfortunately millions of women do. It’s a growing problem, especially with the growing popularity of social media and increased expectations in younger children. This topic is very special to me as I suffer from anxiety, and I plan to incorporate awareness surrounding that topic in every endeavor that I participate in in the future.