Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts
College/School: College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts
A first generation student, Fredricka Jourdain always dreamed of going to college. In high school, she participated in Upward Bound, which allowed her to take classes at FIU and also live on campus.
As a part of FIU’s Golden Scholars bridge program, an alternative admissions program for under-represented students, Fredricka got into FIU and excelled her first semester. However, her second semester wasn’t as easy. After her car was totaled in a bad accident, Fredricka experienced a period of intense loneliness and uncertainty. Her grades suffered. She lost her financial aid and then her housing. Determined to stay at FIU, Fredricka got a job at Starbucks on campus and she found temporary shelter at a coworker’s house.
One day, Courtenay McClain, program director for Golden Scholars, noticed Fredricka behind the counter at Starbucks. McClain introduced Fredricka to Ana Ramos, director of Fostering Panther Pride, which supports former foster youth and homeless students at FIU.
Fredricka received housing and a tuition waiver. She made the dean’s list five times. Outside the classroom, she served as vice president of FIU’s Resident Hall Association, joined the honor society Lambda Pi Eta, and worked for Upward Bound.
In January, Fredricka will begin pursuing her master’s degree in higher education administration at FIU and she hopes to also work for the university that helped change the course of her life.
By Angela Nicoletti
Senior Writer, Office of Media Relations