carolyn allen

April 13, 2016

Story Portrait. Jereima

FILED IN: People

Meet Jereima. Affectionately known, as Jeri, she was born in Panama and moved to Miami when she was 4 years old. She has the prettiest smile, and the most infectious laugh.

About a year and a half ago, I met Jeri, standing in the halls of the Governor’s Mansion. It was my first night on the job, and I was very overwhelmed. Knowing I was new, she walked up to me, introduced herself, and rushed into a long conversation on how excited she was for me and how great of a job she knew I would do (despite the fact that she really didn’t know me at all). She smiled and laughed and made me feel like I had a friend, an ally in this foreign world I had recently stepped into. See that’s the great thing about Jeri. She has a keen understanding of the people around her, and she is sensitive to them.

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This past year and a half has been immensely challenging, and I am 100% confident I would not have survived it without Jeri by my side constantly encouraging and supporting me. She has taught me how to move on and do better. She’s shown me that it’s possible to be both a lady boss and lady like. She’s taught me how to gossip (and cuss) en espanol. She’s educated me on every Florida girl’s essentials, which include but are not limited to – lip liner, freshly polished nails, and designer sunnies. She shares my love for bougainvilleas and red wine. But most of all, She has inspired me to pursue my dreams, because if a 4 year old girl from Panama can move to America, excel in grade school and college, attend grad school while working in the archives of a newsroom, work her way up the ranks to a producer in one of Florida’s biggest media markets, go on to become the press secretary for the Governor of the third largest state in the U.S…..then by golly I can do anything.

 

P.S. past story portraits here! and here!

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