Geraldine De Jesus Cadet

Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

College/School: School of Integrated Science and Humanity, College of Arts, Sciences & Education

Geraldine De Jesus Cadet is helping to build and restore families in West Coconut Grove – a community plagued by poverty, violence and drug abuse.

As assistant program director and youth counselor at Coconut Grove Cares-The Barnyard, Geraldine is putting her research to work. As a psychology major, she studies how violence, race, low socioeconomic status and poverty affect children. At The Barnyard, she is a mentor to children who, like her, come from poverty.

Geraldine was just 2 years old when her family immigrated to the United States in search of better opportunities. They moved in with her grandmother who owned a “Mercadito Nica” in Sweetwater across from FIU’s Engineering Center. Geraldine spent much of her time at the market helping any way she could, even giving English lessons to employees. But the transition was not easy. Her parents juggled multiple jobs, struggling to make ends meet. They divorced when she was 14.

But Geraldine was determined to succeed. She enrolled at FIU in 2016. Under the guidance of Dionne Stephens and Purnima Madhivanan, Geraldine led her first research project while in Mysore, India as part of the Global Health Study Abroad Program. She surveyed 116 mothers and children about their perceptions of behaviors related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). She is a first-generation university student, a McNair Scholar, and has two publications based on her work in India under review.

After graduation, Geraldine wants to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology.

By Ayleen Barbel Fattal, Account Manager
College of Arts, Sciences & Education