Jennyfer Gerrero Torres and her mother Maria Inez Torres hug outside RCMA in Immokalee where Jennyfer once volunteered. (Submitted photo/Travis Anderson)
Jennyfer spent the last two years of high school studying biology at FGCU. So when she officially graduates from Immokalee High School in just a few short weeks, she will have already earned her first college degree. Last Christmas, Jennyfer took a chance and submitted her college application to Harvard University. As it turned out, Harvard University was so impressed with Jennyfer that they offered her a full ride. Jennyfer said that she found out in March that she was accepted into Harvard and since then the Naples Women’s Club and Speakers Assembly of Southwest Florida have come forward with additional financial help. Jennyfer’s mother, Maria Inez Torres who is originally from Honduras, said that she was very proud of her daughter and proud of how smart she is. Attending Harvard will not be an easy task as the coursework will be rigorous, but Jennyfer is up for the challenge. While working on her degree at FGCU and finishing her high school diploma, she volunteered with Team Trend Setters at RCMA and Pinecrest Elementary School where she read to second grade students in order to help improve their reading skills. As Jennyfer goes off to Harvard, her first milestone will be to complete her undergraduate degree in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology before going to Harvard’s Medical School where she plans on becoming a Pediatric Surgeon. Once she finishes medical school she plans on returning to the southwest Florida area where she can help the community. Jennyfer said she hopes that by the time she finishes medical school, a hospital will be located closer to Immokalee so she can help the community that she calls home. While Jennyfer is not the first Immokalee High School graduate to be accepted into Harvard University, she is the only known student to go directly from Immokalee High School to the prestigious university. In fact, back in 1974, Immokalee High graduate Guadalupe Sanchez was accepted into Harvard University after graduating from Berry College in Georgia. While other students from Immokalee High School have gone on to do great things with some joining the National Football League, Jennyfer is setting the bar for excellence by once again putting Immokalee on the educational map.
Being accepted in college is a great achievement for any local student. Being accepted into Harvard University is another story. Jennyfer Gerrero Torres is not only going to Harvard University to further her education; she is doing so with a 5.5 weighted GPA behind her as well as having an associates degree from Florida Gulf Coast University.