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Sakeli Kennedy


Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences:
Quantifying Biology in the Classroom
School of Environment, Arts and Society 

Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry
School of Integrated Science and Humanity
College of Arts, Sciences & Education

Sakeli Kennedy is on a mission to help others. After fitting two bachelor’s degrees and three majors into her four years at FIU, she is already on her way to another milestone: earning a medical degree.

Sakeli attended primary school in Jamaica with friends from all over the world and spent her high school years in St. Petersburg, Florida, absorbing advanced science lessons. For Sakeli, FIU was a place to keep practicing science as part of a diverse community. She enrolled in the intensive Quantifying Biology in the Classroom program, then joined the Honors College so she could take extra classes. She also became a tutor, a role she continued into upper-level courses and a second degree in chemistry.

Research and service took Sakeli around the Americas. She examined bleached corals in Miami, parsed DNA code to identify disease markers in Minnesota, and went on Alternative Breaks trips to treat sick sea turtles in Costa Rica and helped residents of remote communities in Peru. A first-generation university student, Sakeli repaid her parents’ belief in her, helping her mother earn her GED.

Sakeli continues her studies at St. George’s University in Grenada, where she is working to introduce an Alternative Breaks program — this summer, she’s leading a medical service trip to Ghana. She wants to continue helping the underserved and to give pre-med students the kinds of opportunities she’s had. 

By Nate Rabner
Content Strategist
College of Arts, Sciences & Education

Nominated by Brenda Luna