Degree: Master of Arts in English Literature
College/School: School of Environment, Arts and Society, College of Arts, Sciences & Education
Amanda Estevez has always been a bookworm. Before she started elementary school, Amanda would go to the library and check out armfuls of books. She made such an impression on one of the librarians that she gave Amanda a special nickname — ‘Matilda,’ after the Roald Dahl character who loves reading.
This Matilda almost gave up her love for literature. She tried her hand at nursing and then law before realizing these weren’t the careers she wanted. Feeling uncertain about her next move, she talked to her mother, who always encouraged Amanda’s love of reading. They stood in front of Amanda’s overflowing bookshelves when her mother said: “I wonder what you could study?” Soon after, Amanda applied to FIU and began pursuing what she really loved.
But in 2015, her dreams were almost derailed. Amanda and her mother were rear-ended by a driver going 70 mph in a 30 mph zone. The car accident left them in excruciating pain. Amanda required four surgeries. Her mother needed 11. They took turns helping each other recover, alternating between patient and caregiver.
During this time, Amanda stayed true to her nickname from childhood. Like Matilda, she found solace and escape in literature. At FIU, Amanda pursued her passion for Victorian and Romantic-era poetry, focusing her thesis on the poetry of John Keats.
After graduation, Amanda wants to pursue her Ph.D. and one day become a professor who makes literature accessible to everyone.By Angela Nicoletti