Paula Navarette

Commencement: Spring 2015, Ceremony 1

Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts

Graduate of: College of Architecture + The Arts

Paula Navarette committed herself to volunteer work at a young age. Before college, she went on mission trips to Guatemala and Israel with her church youth group, where she saw poverty and violence was a part of daily life for many. She vowed to pursue a college degree that would allow her to help improve lives.

Born in Fort Lauderdale to Chilean parents, the 25-year-old started at FIU in 2007. She soon joined the Academy of Leaders program on campus to raise money for a local children’s home. She also mentored young girls through her church, and volunteered with various campus and community Christian groups.

While she did well academically, Paula left school after two years to help support her family after her father was laid off. She worked three to four jobs, but continued volunteering.

Then, Paula was in a car accident. She was not hurt, but it was a wake-up call. She returned to FIU to work on a communication arts degree.

Among her many accomplishments, she was recognized by the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and made the Dean’s List. She also worked in the Communication Arts Studio and as a Kumon tutor in an after school program.

After graduation, Paula will be going on mission trips to Cambodia and Mozambique, where she plans to assist orphans and widows, teach English, and help build houses, among other work. In the future she hopes to continue working to help those in need.