Jenyer Paez

Degree: Bachelors in English (Honors)

College/School: School of Environment, Arts and Society; College of Arts, Sciences & Education

Jenyer Paez emigrated with his parents from Cuba to the U.S. at age four.

Jenyer always knew how difficult it was for his parents to leave everything behind. One day, his father sat him on his lap and showed him his hands. An iron welder, the grueling labor had left its mark. This image forever stayed in Jenyer’s mind, driving him to excel so his parents’ sacrifice would not be in vain.

Having a knack for languages, Jenyer learned English and French. Wanting to better understand people and the human condition, Jenyer sought out FIU for its exile studies certificate. He earned an FIU First Generation Scholarship, merit scholarship and others, and pursued a degree in English. As part of his honors independent study, Jenyer studied the representation of Cuban exiles and Cuban-Americans in Miami-Dade County’s private and public sectors.

Outside of the classroom, Jenyer has given talks on the importance of education and making financial assistance available to help talented students achieve their dreams. Jenyer has also studied abroad in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, where he taught English. He currently serves as an editor for Summa Cum Laude — the Honors College quarterly magazine — and is studying Japanese in hopes of going to Japan to teach English.

Jenyer is the first in his family to earn a college degree and is applying to law school. He hopes to one day provide legal representation to those who need it.