Congratulations to our Real Triumph Graduates

Two students from the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work are among the Real Triumphs of FIU’s Fall 2021 graduates.

Real Triumph graduates are a diverse group of men and women in background, nationality, interests and ambitions — shining examples of what makes FIU students so special. They have accomplished extraordinary things during their time at the university and have shown us what it means to be truly Real Triumphs.

Stempel College graduates Jafar Ali Ajaj Jaafar and Dalyanis Becerra have gone above and beyond in their respective disciplines to get to where they are today. These are their stories of dedication, commitment and success.

Jafar Ali Ajaj Jaafar

Degree: Master in Dietetics and Nutrition

College: Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work

Jafar Ali Ajaj Jaafar grew up in a small town in Lebanon where his family grew olive and apple trees, and ate healthy meals packed with whole grains, meats, fruits and vegetables. His family worked in agriculture and were advocates of eating natural foods.  

When Jafar hit his teen years, he met with a dietitian to help him through some nutrition challenges. The dietitian taught him about the positive impact that eating a well-balanced meal can have on a person’s overall health. This experience inspired Jafar to later pursue a degree in nutrition and secure a job as a sports nutritionist in Lebanon. Hoping to one day live in the United States, Jafar set his sights on getting his master’s degree from Florida International University. This would allow him to obtain a Registered Dietitian license, opening doors to employment in the states.  

At FIU, Jafar sought opportunities that would build upon his understanding of dietetics and nutrition. He worked as a volunteer on the Snackability research project, which aimed to help university students create healthier eating habits. As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Jafar was tasked with recruiting participants through social media and university outreach. He also managed the control group of the trial and analyzed the data from the recruitment process, which he later presented at the annual conference of the American Society for Nutrition.  

Jafar hopes to use his knowledge to help people — just like that one dietitian helped him. His ultimate dream is to support people who are battling eating disorders, specifically men, who may not feel comfortable speaking out about the health challenges they are going through.  

Dalyanis Becerra

Degree: Master of Social Work

College: Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work 

Dalyanis Becerra’s success is driven by her unwavering commitment to uplift her family. 

Born and raised in Miami, Dalyanis’ relatives and teachers were the pillars that kept her grounded during tumultuous times. At school, she channeled her energy into her studies and excelled in her classes.

At 16, she graduated with her superintendent high school diploma of distinction and enrolled in Miami Dade College, where her ambitions landed her the American Dream Scholarship to help fund her studies. Two years later, she transferred to Florida International University, where her professor Natalia Giordano inspired her to pursue degrees in social work.  

While at FIU, Becerra’s brother lost his life unexpectedly. As she and her family grieved the loss of her brother, Dalyanis was determined to get to work. She secured multiple jobs and internships while juggling her studies. She also opened a carwash to help ensure an income for her family. With a packed schedule, Dalyanis still excelled in academia, securing the competitive Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program scholarship, which helped her through her master’s degree.  

Today, Dalyanis graduates at 23 with her Master in Social Work. Her goal is to help individuals embrace life’s challenges and become the best version of themselves. She plans to secure her real estate license soon to help her achieve her next goal in life along with her boyfriend, Jonathan – to open a shelter in memory of her brother that provides necessities, a safe haven, and mental health counseling for families in times of need.