Radio Rookie Danielle Finds Out Her Regents Exam Results

Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 07:04 PM


Radio Rookie Danielle Motindabeka reported this week that she was taking the US History Regents exam for the fourth and final time. It's the one thing standing in the way of her getting her high school diploma. Danielle went to find out her results.

Radio Rookies Producer Courtney Stein was there with her:

This morning I got a text from Danielle – she said she needed to go to her school at 4PM to get her test score. “I’m scared now.”

I offered to meet her there so she wouldn’t be alone. “Thank you,” she texted back.

I met Danielle three years ago when she was a junior at Washington Irving High School, applying to be a Radio Rookie. We got to know her as she reported an incredibly personal story about her struggles after immigrating to the US.

Danielle’s workshop ended, she finished her award-winning story, but she didn’t leave. Since then, Danielle’s gone to schools, youth programs and conferences to share her story and encourage other students to tell their own. She has become a fixture and much loved member of the Rookies family. 

This afternoon I walked from WNYC to Danielle’s school, leaving sooner than I needed to because I know that Danielle is always early. When I arrived at 3:45, she was already waiting outside. We went up the stairs and inside the school where nine other students were lined up against the entryway walls waiting for their results.

The guidance counselors were standing directly in front of us at a long table with a huge pile of papers stacked in the middle. We waited, impatiently – staring at that pile. At 3:56 Danielle asked if she could please see her paper. She was told no, she had to wait until 4.

Four minutes later one of the guidance counselors gave Danielle a thumbs up and called her over. She told her she had passed! Danielle started jumping up and down and running around the entryway.

“I’m done! Thank you, thank you, I can’t believe this, I’m finally done!”

Danielle’s best friend Bree (who was also a Radio Rookie) showed up at the school a few minutes later, she had been cheering on another friend at the Washington Irving graduation. One of the guidance counselors asked Danielle why she hadn’t walked in the procession at the graduation ceremony that morning.  Danielle told him she hadn’t been invited, her name wasn’t on the list.

But she isn’t letting that get her down. Danielle may not have walked across that stage today but she got where she wanted to be. 

We are beyond proud of you, Danielle! We can’t wait to see what you do next. Stay tuned!

Bree Person and Danielle Motindabeka outside Washington Irving High School





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Comments [17]

Diana Ward from Manhattan

Great news, Danielle. I heard you telling your story on Radio Rookies and was so anxious to know what happened. My great joy came just now when I saw this wonderful update. I am shedding tears of joy right along with you. CONGRATULATIONS ON A JOB WELL DONE. On to bigger and greater things in your wonderful life. You deserve the very best. Go take it for yourself.

Jul. 16 2014 11:57 AM

I heard Danielle's story & was touched by her perseverance, so happy to hear that she successful passed her Regents. With determination & persistence like Danielle, you can achieve any odds.Go Danielle!!!!

Jul. 02 2014 01:49 PM
Gloria Rosario Wallace from Brooklyn, NY

Congratulations Danielle! I am so proud of your perseverance and your commitment. I know this is not the end of your journey and I know I will see great things from you!

Jun. 30 2014 11:42 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Big up, Danielle!!! Just another example of your AWESOME persistence and how IT. PAYS. OFF. Keep it up, princess.

Jun. 30 2014 11:10 AM

Congratulations on your beautiful reporting and on passing the exam...I was so moved by your story, and I am convinced that you can move mountains!

Jun. 27 2014 10:41 PM
Liz from Rockland County, NY

WOW! CONGRATULATIONS, DANIELLE! You are a star and a woman to be emulated. Your story struck me, and my hope for you was alive and strong since the moment I heard you tell it. Now, read these comments later and go celebrate this enormous accomplishment!!! Best wishes!

Jun. 27 2014 09:04 PM
danappyboy from rabat, morocco.

You did a great.
I see on you a great women, carry on dont give up the fight.
I wish you all best.

Jun. 27 2014 06:28 PM

SO, SO happy for you, Danielle! You are an inspiration and truly deserving of this accomplishment!

Jun. 27 2014 04:56 PM

yayyyyyyy Thank you , Thank you , Thank you guys for the support and all the positive comments i don't know how to feel right now but i know that i have people out there who support and care soooo much about me , am thankful for it and happy ..

Danielle Motindabeka.

Jun. 27 2014 04:48 PM
Dr. Dana from Harlem

I first heard Danielle's story a couple of days ago and was compelled to follow the news in hopes of sharing in an expected good outcome! I was elated to hear the good news on yesterdays evening report. BRAVO DANIELLE!!!

Now on to College! You GO Girl! God bless your perseverance; it will serve you well in this life!

Jun. 27 2014 03:14 PM
Robin from Long Island

Danielle- I was compelled by your story and am so elated you passed! Congratulations and enjoy the next part of your journey.

Jun. 27 2014 01:39 PM

Great news, Danielle! YOU knew you could do it, and that is the most important belief of all. You took a huge challenge, you executed your plan, and you succeeded. This will be of help to you in the future, so never forget it. Don't look back on it as one of the most difficult times in your life, look back at it and see what a huge win it was for you!

Jun. 27 2014 12:51 PM
Adey from NYC

Congratulations Danielle! I'm so proud of you and incredibly happy for you! May God continue to bless you!

Jun. 27 2014 12:07 PM

Congratulations Danielle! I'm so proud of you and incredibly happy for you! God bless you!

Jun. 27 2014 12:06 PM
Sarah from Brooklyn, NY

Congratulations Danielle! Your story really moved me and I'm so happy for you! Best of luck in your future!

Jun. 27 2014 11:23 AM
daryl shawn

Congratulations, Danielle. You have an inspiring story to tell!

Jun. 27 2014 10:42 AM
Mary from Jersey City, NJ

Danielle, Hooray! When I heard your story earlier this week I was so saddened by this obstacle to your moving forward with your education. I read many of the comments on the previous story from education professionals in NY state and was heartened that passing all the Regency exams is not an absolute requirement to going on to college. Best wishes to you in what will most certainly be a bright future! Have a great summer!

Jun. 27 2014 07:09 AM

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