I’m a proud first-generation American. My mother is Nicaraguan, my father was Cuban and I grew up in Miami. I come from a very tight-knit family so deciding to come to the University of North Florida was a major decision in my life.
It proved to be a very good decision when my father died of lung cancer during my freshman year. The UNF Counseling Center helped me cope with the loss. Because of the help I received, I was able to come to terms with his death and realize I needed time to grieve. Now my younger sister, Catherine, is enrolled at UNF and I know she’s enjoying the same type of caring environment that was so helpful to me.
The Coggin College of Business is what initially attracted me to UNF. It has a good reputation and I’ve had some very good professors. I’m pursuing a double major in finance and marketing and am considering continuing my studies to earn an M.B.A.
But the experiences outside the classroom have been just as meaningful to me. I belong to Sigma Chi fraternity, the UNF chapter of the American Marketing Association and the UNF Finance and Investment Society, where I am the group’s webmaster. These activities have given me an opportunity to form very strong friendships that I’m sure will last long after I leave UNF.
I’m proud of my Hispanic heritage and think Miami is a wonderful city. However, UNF has given me an opportunity to build friendships with a much more diverse group of people. They are individuals whose upbringing, ideas and values are different from my own and the exchange of viewpoints has been beneficial to me. In many of my classes, I’m the only Hispanic male and I hope my viewpoints and values are similarly beneficial to my fellow students.
Since my father’s death, the scholarship assistance I’ve received has lessened the financial burden on my family. The Black Diamond Performance Reporting Scholarship, the James M. Kufeldt Memorial Scholarship and a Bright Futures Scholarship have made college much more affordable.
Because of UNF, I see myself with a host of career opportunities. If I pursue an M.B.A., I may go into a career in analyzing equities for a financial company. Or I may decide to go to law school. The point is I believe I have many career options and I know I can thank my UNF education for providing me these myriad options.