Angelina Rosario’s motto is “turn pain into purpose”. While leading the sales department in one of the top media markets in the country, she was diagnosed with a disfiguring, fast growing tumor in her face the size of a baseball. As a result, she underwent four major surgeries, removing five teeth, a nerve, and bone from her right hip, which left her barely walking or talking. She created the 5x5 Success Habits to achieve a complete recovery, a true testimony that even extreme adversity can be turned into victory. Since then, she has influenced thousands of people by teaching them that applying this method to trials, setbacks, and fears is a secret weapon to overcoming any challenge and becoming the best version of themselves. Angelina implements these strategies throughout all her activities: As a sales leader, certified ICF coach, author, speaker, and entrepreneur.
University of Miami Student
Dija Thomas is a senior at the University of Miami pursuing a Public Relations degree with minors in Psychology and Economics. Born and raised in Miami, Florida in a household of music and information technology, she learned to appreciate both STEM and the arts. She used science and music to create a lens to view difficult situations, including tropical storms which are common to South Florida. Through this lens, she navigated her own experience related to reflection and resilience on moving forward through strong emotional moments, including the global and local changes because of COVID-19. She loves to spend her time writing music, playing various sports, and gaming with friends. Dija looks forward to continuing uplifting and creating spaces for both identity and interest groups to allow others to have a sense of belonging and agency.
Mother & University of Miami Student
Emi Kopke is a 5th-year architecture student with minors in elementary education, psychology, and art—but most importantly, a 2-year-old sidekick. With an extensive passion for humanity and making the world a better place, Emi shares how the lessons she instills in her own baby have given her a new lens for viewing everyone who walks this earth to be treated with the same love and respect as “someone’s baby,” and that it’s never too late to shift the paradigm in how society interacts.
Gabrielle Ferrara, MSW, LSW
Licensed Social Worker & Mental Health Advocate
Gabrielle Ferrara, MSW, LSW is a Licensed Social Worker in New Jersey. Gabrielle currently works in private practice and sees clients through the Lukin Center for Psychotherapy. Gabrielle specializes in eating disorders, OCD, and navigating life transitions. Gabrielle earned her B.A. in 2018 from the University of Miami where she majored in Psychology and Criminology and then went on to attend Rutgers University, where she earned her Master of Social Work degree with a clinical focus. Gabrielle is a passionate advocate for all-things mental health and compliments her direct clinical work in different ways, such as her involvement with the National Alliance for Eating Disorders, where she is a support group facilitator. Gabrielle has been featured as a guest on mental health podcasts and has had writing published on The Mighty and Psychology Today.
University of Miami Student & Founder of Hygiene for Women
Gayathri Samuel is a senior at the University of Miami studying Business Law and Finance, and the Founder of Hygiene for Women, a non-profit founded in 2018. Hygiene for Women is focused on servicing all menstruators through advocacy, education, and service. While originally being based in Miami, Florida, HFW works with both local and international women's shelters and rescue missions such as in Peru, India, and Sri Lanka to provide access to period products. With a vision to eradicate period poverty and period stigma, one period at a time.
Attorney & Neurodiversity Advocate
Haley Moss is an attorney, author and neurodiversity advocate. She was also diagnosed with autism as a toddler. In 2019, she made international headlines as Florida’s first openly autistic attorney. She is also the author of four books: The Young Autistic Adult’s Independence Handbook, Great Minds Think Differently: Neurodiversity for Lawyers and Other Professionals, A Freshman Survival Guide for College Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Middle School: The Stuff Nobody Tells You About. Haley also works on developing trainings and processes that work for everybody to feel as if they too can find a part of the community where they belong. A frequent commentator, analyst, and consultant on disability rights and neurodiversity, Haley is determined to live in a world where people on the autism spectrum or who have related disabilities can fully be themselves and accepted within society while achieving success on their own terms, rather than a rare exception.
University of Miami Student & Environmental Activist
My name is Jordan Hightower. I am a senior from Bay Shore New York here at the University of Miami majoring in Finance. Some of my involvements on campus include being a President's 100 school ambassador as well as a member of the Student Government's Environment & Conservation Organization ("ECO Agency"). I love basketball, videogames, discovering new places and eating great food!
Marisol Capellan, Ed.D.
Executive Coach & University of Miami Lecturer
Dr. Marisol Capellan is an internationally recognized and award-winning educator and coach. She is a lecturer at the Miami Herbert Business School, a leadership and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion speaker and trainer, and a certified executive coach. She graduated with a Masters in Management with Specialization in Leadership and a doctoral degree in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Miami. As an Afro-Latina, mother, and immigrant she has faced and witnessed many of the institutional and systemic barriers and biases that Black women face in their career trajectory to leadership roles, which sparked her passion in women’s empowerment and the need to increase the representation of women in positions of power. She is currently writing a book about her career journey experience as a Black Hispanic woman in Academia.
Natalie Robinson Bruner
Corporate Trainer & Business Coach
Natalie Robinson Bruner is a Corporate Trainer, Business Coach, and Speaker focused on leadership development, engagement, and DEI. From a young age, she has been interested in leadership and the skills it requires. As a result, she has spent the past 15 years leading organizations in the educational and nonprofit sectors. She has created thoughtful programs, brought together community stakeholders, and most importantly helped people prosper. These experiences have taught her the importance of connectedness, continual growth, diverse perspectives, and valuing people. She works hard to help people grow, cultivate work cultures, and develop thriving organizations. As a mom of two boys, she has experienced the spillover effect of an engaging and supportive work environment as well as the draining burnout of unsupportive environments. These experiences motivate her to stay dedicated and focused on this work to make the world a better place for her boys and her community.
Founder of the Visual Snow Initiative
Sierra Domb is the Founder of the Visual Snow Initiative (VSI), a non-profit dedicated to awareness, education, and research for Visual Snow Syndrome. After she began experiencing symptoms of Visual Snow, Sierra became a philanthropic pioneer, vowing to help those who suffer from the condition. Her charity has raised millions for Visual Snow. Sierra implemented innovative techniques to generate a significant and positive impact in the lives of thousands of people around the world. In doing so, she gave them a voice they never had. Sierra is passionate about empowering others to overcome any adversity. She also holds a B.S.C. in Communication Studies and is a Writer/Reporter whose articles and photographs have been published in national newspapers. Sierra is also a voice actress and nature photographer.
9/11 Widow & Activist
Tanya is a 9/11 widow living happily “even” after, who is featured in the Peabody Award-winning documentary, Rebirth. As lesson plans for September 11th made their way into educational curriculum for middle school, high school, and college level students, Tanya was honored to collaborate with nonprofit organization Project Rebirth in their educational initiatives. Each year, Tanya delivers hope, comfort, and laughter through her workshops at Camp Widow, a weekend-long gathering of widows from around the world. She is also a Soaring Spirits Regional Group leader and facilitates social support gatherings for those who are living in Miami. Tanya is a recognized 9/11 family member and has appeared on CBS This Morning, The Talk (CBS), Extra (NBC), Good Morning America (ABC) and other network and international news programs. She loves her life in Miami with her husband Ray, two daughters, their bearded dragon and rescue dog Tony Rico Pupperoni.