Christopher La Forte

Degree: Master of Business Administration

College: College of Business

As an enlisted infantry Marine stationed in Kings Bay, Georgia, Christopher La Forte took note of the respect shown to the college-educated officers, and vowed to one day earn his college degree and work as a professional after completing his military service. Today, having turned his admiration into action, Christopher has overcome numerous obstacles to earn not one but two degrees as he prepares to enter the professional ranks.

Christopher had tried college once before, not long after his father’s death had financially and emotionally devastated the family. It didn’t go well. When he told his mother that he’d enlist in the military, he was bluffing. But she drove him to sign up.\

After four grueling years in the military, Christopher – armed with grit and determination – earned a bachelor’s degree from FIU, Magna Cum Laude. He didn’t stop there. Christopher immediately began working on his MBA, laying tile and delivering Amazon boxes to make ends meet.

But, again, he faced a hurdle, developing excruciating pain in his shoulder that was eventually diagnosed as Parsonage-Turner Syndrome, a rare neurological condition. As a Marine not accustomed to showing emotion, Christopher would cry in pain while studying. But, he powered through and began to improve with physical therapy. 

Now set to begin a new job as an assistant manager at Sherwin Williams, Christopher recently married fellow FIU graduate Maria Pereira, a Deloitte CPA. He feels enormous gratitude for their bright future ahead and credits his Colombian mother, who came from nothing to achieve business success, for attaining his goals. 

By Lauren Commander
College of Business

Nominated by Sasha Maldonado