Juan David Endara

Degree: Master of Science in Mass Communications: Spanish-Language Journalism

College: College of Communication, Architecture & The Arts

When Juan David Endara was only five months old, he suffered a stroke that left him with a speech disability and neurological and emotional disorders. Growing up, he often felt alone and misunderstood, having been the only person in his class with these disabilities.  

Instead of allowing his condition to hold him back, Juan David chose to give a voice to a vulnerable and underrepresented community. As a stroke survivor and Latino living in the U.S., he focused his Master’s in Spanish-Language Journalism on research related to resilience in people with disabilities.

While completing his program, Juan David founded a non-profit organization and digital news site called “Una Voz Mas,” where he published stories about people with disabilities. His work on “Una Voz Mas” made such an impact that one of his interviewees – the mother of a child with microcephaly and cerebral palsy – received a wheelchair as a donation from a family who saw the interview. Last year, Juan David was awarded the “Mejor Trabajo Estudiantil” award by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Florida Pro Chapter.

Juan David says that his accomplishments would not have been possible without the support of the FIU faculty and staff who saw beyond his disabilities. He says his personal success and academic achievement is evidence that with support, individuals with disabilities will reach extraordinary heights.

After graduation, Juan David hopes to secure a job in the journalism while also continuing to advocate for others with disabilities. He will also be producing content for his newly launched math, chemistry and physics digital tutoring resource for Spanish speakers, shovestudy.

By Tatianna Basanta
Junior Account Manager
College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts

Nominated by Alejandro Alvarado