Helping Students Reach Their Potential on Every Level | Broward College Office of Advancement and Broward College Foundation

Helping Students Reach Their Potential on Every Level

Stefan Dacosta


When Stefan Dacosta’s parents divorced, he and his sisters moved from South Florida to Atlanta with his mother, who worked three jobs to hold the family together. The task of caring for younger siblings fell on Stefan, an eighth-grader.

Stefan always excelled at school, but shouldering adult responsibilities at such a young age prevented him from fully exploring his potential … until he became a student at Broward College.

While tending to his sisters made Stefan’s life challenging, he still maintained good grades. After graduating from high school, he moved in with his father, helping him work at an auto collision shop near Broward College’s A. Hugh Adams Central Campus. Every day on the way to work, Stefan was reminded of his dream of higher education. His father recognized his son’s drive and encouraged him to apply. Stefan’s journey at Broward College had begun.

At that time, life at the three-bedroom apartment he called home was crowded with eight people, including four sisters and two uncles. Money also was tight, and ultimately the family was evicted.

Undaunted, Stefan moved to Boynton Beach to live with an uncle, rode his bike to the Tri-Rail Station and hopped the train for a two-hour ride to and from class. In spite of this challenge, he remained focused on his college experience.

“One thing I really wanted to do was to get involved, which I couldn’t do in high school,” he said. “I became a member of the campus activities board and volunteered at every single event.” He also participated in Student Government, Competitive Edge, Brother-to-Brother mentoring, the Broward College Academy of Excellence, and College Leadership Florida … and he always maintained good grades.


Last December, Stefan earned his associate’s degree, becoming the first in his family to attain a higher education degree. Currently, he’s enrolled at Broward College and pursuing his bachelor of applied science in supervision and management. He plans to earn a master’s in higher education administration.

Every day, Stefan makes the best of his opportunities through hard work and dedication, which recently paid off with a new job: He just accepted a full-time position with the college’s admissions office.

Broward College truly is helping Stefan fulfill his dreams and reach his potential on every level.

If you would like to help other deserving students like Stefan achieve the American Dream, please CLICK HERE to securely donate. Thank you!


Karen was a single mom with two toddlers when she left her native Brazil to restart her life in the United States. Her brother and sister-in-law graciously took in her young family, and Karen had high hopes for the future. Her aspirations were temporarily dashed, however, when she discovered her English wasn’t as good as she thought and her biomedical sciences bachelor’s degree didn’t carry over to the United States.