Fall 2018 Proud Grad – Gabriel Dos Santos Balances Academics and Extracurricular Activities for the Ultimate College Experience

Gabriel Dos Santos arrived in the United States in 2016 without really knowing what he wanted to study. Two years later, he is graduating with his Associate of Arts in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Gabriel is the recipient of several accolades during his time at the College, including the Student Achievement Award in 2017. He’s been named to the President’s List which recognizes outstanding academic achievement, every semester he’s been at Broward College. But, behind all the accomplishments, there is a story of dedication and passion.

We caught up with Gabriel as he prepared for the last couple of weeks of his journey at the College.

How my childhood influenced me

Gabriel was born in Brazil but at the age of three his mom took him to Italy. After finishing middle school, they moved to England where Gabriel attended high school. “I know I wasn’t born in England but I spent the best years of my life there and honestly, I feel like I’m English,” he says, in what can only be described as a natural English accent. In addition to English, Gabriel speaks Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish.

Following my mother’s advice

“I have to thank my mom because she was the one that pushed me to join the clubs and get involved, and I have to admit that her advice completely changed my life,” says Gabriel. Even with all the effort to keep up with extracurricular activities Gabriel says he has no regrets. He says its taught him balance and his GPA of 3.9 is proof that with the right approach, students can be successfully involved in activities.

Following his mother’s advice helped him to meet friends and build connections. He first joined Phi Theta Kappa, where he met his best friend and who would introduce him to the rest of the clubs he joined. Over the past two years, he’s served as a senator for Student Government, the International Club, and the Engineering Club, which he also helped create. He is also the vice president of the Honors Society and has joined the National Society of Leadership.

Gabriel has attended several conferences in New York, Washington D.C., Orlando, and South Florida as part of his work for the different clubs.“ I definitely feel that being exposed to all the different cultures and learning has been an advantage. People have been more open and welcoming to me because of it. I have been able to reach more people and make more friends, from all over the world.”

Pursuing the dream

After graduation Gabriel is transferring to the University of Florida to pursue his bachelor’s degree. His dream is to one day work for Tesla or SpaceX. “I have always been a fan of the work they do and it would be a dream for me to contribute somehow with it. I would love to be a part of the company and maybe work on an electric aircraft,” he says.

Learn more about the Industry, Manufacturing, Construction & Transportation pathway here.

Interested in joining the Honors College? Visit broward.edu/honors.