Jessica Doesn’t Give Up! | Broward College Office of Advancement and Broward College Foundation

Jessica Doesn’t Give Up!



In spite of unimaginable obstacles, including paternal abandonment, bullying, chronic health issues, unemployment and identity theft, Jessica is determined to continue her education.  “I became depressed,” Jessica said, “but I overcame my pain and decided to create my future at Broward College.”

Circumstances forced Jessica to grow up quickly.  Because her father refused to pay child support, her mother worked multiple jobs to ensure Jessica and her younger brother would have a decent life.  At the same time, her mother, looking toward the future, was going to school to pursue a law degree.  This left Jessica, at a very young age, as caregiver for her brother, who had been diagnosed with hearing and speech issues, learning disabilities and Autism.

Jessica chose Broward College for a number of reasons.  Her mother, now a federal attorney, travels a lot, and Jessica, who still takes care of her brother, needed a school that could work within the constraints of her family life.

“The number and locations of the college’s campuses and learning centers made it easy for me to be near my brother at all times,” Jessica said.  “Broward College also offers a flexible course schedule.  I’ve taken online classes and an in-class lecture at 6:30 in the morning.”

Jessica received financial support from Broward College Foundation scholarships, and peer support through her participation in extracurricular activities, such as the Broward College Brain Bowl Team.

“The greatest gift I received from Broward College was a mentor,” Jessica said.  “Dr. David Serrano helped me as I transitioned from majoring in philosophy to majoring in biology.  He’s gave me guidance about transferring to another school after graduating.  He helped me with projects.  And, in spite of the fact that biology is not a major that women of my ethnicity usually follow, he gave me hope.”

Jessica, who graduated with honors, says Broward College gave her confidence, leadership training, and taught her to use critical thinking skills so that she can accomplish any goal she can envision.

“I am now able to speak in public, plan events in a business setting, and create opportunities for myself,” Jessica said.

Someday, Jessica would like to create and fund a scholarship for students who are siblings of people with Autism.  She would also like to create job training and a placement facility for adults with mental disabilities.  “There is substantial support for children and adolescents with mental disabilities,” Jessica said, “but as adults they are often neglected.”

“I think, because of Broward College, my life is far more fulfilling than when I was trapped in low level jobs living paycheck to paycheck,” Jessica said.  “I am a happier and more grateful person.”

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Victoria Goordeen is a perfect example of a life changed through education thanks to philanthropic scholarship support. “I come from a large family,” Victoria said. “My parents worked very hard to provide for my siblings and me.” Four members of Victoria’s family were attending college at the same time, yet she was not eligible for federal financial assistance. The possibility of obtaining a college degree seemed out of reach.