My 91-year-old Abuela says my career in journalism is what the American Dream is all about. My Abuelo fled Cuba and arrived in Miami in 1962. He washed dishes in the old Miami Herald cafeteria to support his family, including a baby girl on the way — my mother. Almost half a century later, the Herald gave me my first journalism job as a 17-year-old high school intern. I interned at newspapers all over the country, including at the Tampa Bay Times in 2014. It was the Times that gave me my first job after I graduated from the University of Florida, covering education in Pinellas County from 2015 to 2018. Then I returned to Miami to cover education and the nation’s fourth-largest school district for my hometown paper for three years. Now I’m back at the Times, covering St. Petersburg’s government and people. Miami may be my hometown, but the Sunshine City is my home. I live and breathe local journalism, and I’m proud I’ve spent my career working at Florida’s best newspapers.