Posted on Feb 19, 2022

Black History Month: Charrissa Antonio, staff spotlight

Black History Month: Charrissa Antonio, staff spotlight

“Our journey is unique to each of us.”

USF College of Nursing Academic Services Administrator Charrissa Antonio’s faith motivated her to create a life that will inspire her children.

“I wanted to serve as an example for my children and show them, first-hand, it’s never too late to go after and pursue your goals and dreams,” she said.

Twenty years ago, Antonio was working an entry-level job at the University of Miami. Her children were in elementary school and Antonio had a new itch to grow. She made it her mission to pursue post-secondary degrees.

In 2006, Antonio graduated with her Associate in Arts degree. Around this time, her passion to work with students and administration blossomed.

I wanted to be able to work closely with students as they aspired to achieve their own educational dreams, especially students from minority populations.”

After eight years at the university, Antonio accepted a job at Miami Dade College in the Honors College, where the dean encouraged Antonio to complete her bachelor’s degree.

“Her motto resonates with me, even now,” Antonio said. “She emphasized the importance of education and always reminded me that ‘Education is the one thing that no one can ever take away from you.’ ”

Motivated by those words, Antonio went back to school for both her bachelor and master degrees. Determined to finish what she started, Antonio plans on resuming her doctoral studies soon. Working at USF has been a long-time dream for Antonio and she said she looks forward to growing within the university.

Antonio wants to remind students not to be tempted to compare themselves to others.  “The danger in that is that we not only risk the chance of losing momentum and progress. Your journey is your own.”

For Antonio, Black History Month is an opportunity pay tribute. “It provides an opportunity to reflect on our past, paying homage to those who were, indeed, Trailblazers in their own right, making personal sacrifices, so that our current and future generations are able to move forward.”

Story by Cassidy Delamarter