Degree: Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management
College/School: Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management
Jennifer Gonzalez-Abreu was born in Cuba, but her parents brought her to the U.S. when she was a baby, dreaming of a better life for their family.
Originally a biology major, Jennifer switched to hospitality and tourism management after discovering a passion for sustainable tourism. In three-and-a-half years, Jennifer traveled to nine countries.
In 2016, she spent a semester in Tianjin, China, taking four classes while helping classmates improve their English.
In 2015, she visited Brazil and assessed the environmental, social and economic impact of tourism in local communities, including an Amazonian indigenous tribe, a mountain community without electricity, and a favela in Rio de Janeiro.
In 2014, she helped raise $20,000 to participate in the Global Community Engagement program in Santiago, Dominican Republic, where she designed and facilitated sessions focused on the academic performance, self-worth, environment and well-being of underserved children. Jennifer went on to become the co-director of FIU’s Global Community Engagement program.
A Florida Bright Futures scholar, Jennifer made the dean’s list four times. She already has started her Master of Science in Hospitality Management (4+1 program), and is simultaneously working on her Professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism Destination Management from George Washington University.
She credits her success at the Chaplin School to all of her professors, particularly Carolin Lusby. She also is grateful to her parents and sister for giving her a strong foundation in life.
Jennifer’s ultimate goal to work for an organization in Washington, D.C. dedicated to global sustainable tourism.
By Mihaela Plugarasu