Lucia Silva

Degree: Bachelor’s in Anthropology

College/School: Steven J. Green College of International and Public Affairs

Lucia emigrated from Nicaragua to Miami with her parents in 1999 as a high school freshman. Not knowing any English, she took English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes, watched TV and consciously spoke with schoolmates in English to learn the language. Four years later, she successfully graduated from Felix Varela High School with a 4.0 GPA.

Because of her temporary immigration status, Lucia was unable to apply for financial aid to attend college. She earned a skin care license, worked and saved money to go to school. She enrolled at Miami Dade College, balancing work and school. With a 3.7 GPA, she earned an associate degree in anthropology and earned an FIU Transfer Academic Achievement Scholarship.

Lucia enrolled at FIU in 2013 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. She took Professor Dennis Whitman’s medical anthropology course which opened her eyes to a field she previously did not know existed. She also completed internships at the International Rescue Committee and the St. John Bosco Clinic. Wanting to learn beyond what she had read in books and watched in films, Lucia traveled to Europe, Latin America and throughout the United States to fulfill her goal of becoming a global citizen.

After graduation Lucia plans on working in the non-profit sector. She hopes to earn a graduate degree in public health and pursue a career that will allow her to address the social and environmental factors influencing the health of Hispanics and Hispanic-Americans.