After earning her associate’s degree at Miami Dade College in 2012, Johanny Adames transferred to the University of Florida and graduated from the College of Journalism and Communications in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
During her time at UF, Adames was heavily involved in news and politics.
She was an anchor and executive producer at Noticias WUFT 89.1, UF’s Spanish-language news program. She said that through Noticias, she found inspiring mentors and made friends. Adames was also the Hispanic Caucus co-chair for the UF College Democrats.
One thing she found lacking at UF, she said, was diversity among faculty. “I didn’t feel represented,” Adames, who identifies as Afro-Latina, said by email, “and could not find a mentor who looked or sounded like me.”
Adames immigrated with her family from the Dominican Republic when she was 11 and became a citizen in 2012. That year, she was also offered the opportunity to speak at the National Democratic National Convention on behalf of President Barack Obama.
In her speech, she discussed the powerful impact that federal Pell Grant scholarships had on her ability to pursue higher education. Without her Pell Grants, pursuing higher education would have been incredibly difficult.
Adames recalled that her speech at the DNC was “the thing that helped me knock down many mental barriers.” She attributes much of her growth as a communications professional to this experience.
After graduating from UF, Adames interned at the White House for the Office of Communications. Afterward, she joined public relations and communications firm GMMB, where she climbed the ladder to become a senior account executive.
Today, Adames is a communications officer for Planned Parenthood Federation of America in Washington, D.C.