Degree: Master of Landscape Architecture
College/School: College of Communication, Architecture + the Arts
For Aurora Alcaide-Ortiz, not finishing school was not an option. At 16, Aurora learned she was pregnant. Her mother, Martha, provided the necessary support and encouragement to continue her studies while raising her baby boy. Being a young mother presented its challenges, but she pushed forward.
After graduating at the top of her high school class, Aurora, a native of Puerto Rico, moved to Miami where she immediately got to work. She knew she wanted to attend FIU, so, with help from tutors, she prepared for the SAT. She studied during her lunch breaks and sketched for her portfolio in the evenings after putting her children to sleep.
Accepted to FIU’s School of Architecture, she became a master at balancing work, school and a family. She planned her days down to the hour. She could be found sketching at her daughter’s softball game or son’s rugby matches while still cheering them on.
Aurora has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work. Most notably, she earned the 2017 Florida ASLA’s Student Design Award. For this project, she spent a week in the Bahamas surveying settlements started by Haitian immigrants and focused on finding sustainable solutions that would benefit both Bahamian and Haitian communities.
During her last year, she interned for the civil engineering firm Kimley-Horn where she will begin a full-time position in their Miami offices after graduating. She hopes to use her skills to create spaces that have positive social and environmental impacts.
By Alyse Mier
Jr. Public Relations Associate