Frankie is building a brighter future for herself … from the ground up. | Broward College Office of Advancement and Broward College Foundation

Frankie is building a brighter future for herself … from the ground up.



Shortly before Frankie graduated from high school, her family was evicted from their home.

Her father’s medical issues had made it impossible for him to work, and doctors’ bills were piling up. Then her mother was laid off, and she struggled to keep the household running with nothing but her unemployment benefits.

With no real source of income, they moved in with relatives, bouncing around from house to house, traversing Florida in an attempt to keep a roof over their heads.

The reality of being homeless and having two unemployed parents was devastating. So naturally, money was the only thing on Frankie’s mind. She had no choice but to find a job and become head of her family right after she graduated from high school.

She was only 18.

Frankie worked as a waitress at two restaurants.  “I was bringing money home,” she said, “but I felt enslaved to my jobs. This is what I’d settled for because of the obstacles I faced.  I thought my life was set in stone.”

Then one day Frankie waited on a young man, a student at Broward College, who reminded her that life was more than refilling drinks and yelling at cooks for making a burger medium rare instead of well done.

“He told me about all of the amazing opportunities Broward College has to offer,” Frankie said.  “This got me thinking about my senior year in high school and all I had accomplished.   I realized my journey to success didn’t end back in high school, it was just stuck on pause!”

Frankie traded in her apron for textbooks and registered at Broward College as a full-time student.  She became the first member of her family to attend college.  She embraced her studies and became involved with student organizations, where she earned leadership positions.

“At Broward College, I’ve grown, I’ve developed, and I’ve earned recognition and scholarships for all of my hard work,” Frankie said.

Recently, Frankie’s parents and brother moved back to their hometown in New Jersey, because they had nowhere else to go.

“Now that I’m getting by on my own,” Frankie said, “scholarships are more important than ever.  I’m dedicated to continuing my studies and earning my degree here at Broward College.”

Frankie is majoring in Broadcast Journalism and minoring in Leadership development.  After graduating from Broward College, she will attend the University of Florida and pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism.  Then she hopes to earn a Masters in Broadcast Journalism and a Doctorate in Leadership Development.

“My primary goal is to help students graduate as productive, positive leaders who will, in turn, make a difference in our society through their work, values and service to the community,” Frankie said.  “Because of Broward College … I’m going to achieve that goal.”

Support students like Frankie through the American Dream Scholarship.


J. David Armstrong, Jr. is the face of Broward College in the South Florida business community, and he works tirelessly to ensure his students are prepared when they face local job opportunities. Armstrong has spent 25 years in state and national higher education and economic development, including the role of chancellor of the Florida Community College System. As head of Broward College, he oversaw the school’s introduction of baccalaureate programs, and he guided the school to becoming one of the Top 10 community colleges in the nation according to the Washington, D.C.-based Aspen Institute.