Students

Below are the students planning to participate in the 2017 trip to Cuba:

Sierra Aitken

My name is Sierra Aitken and I am a 22 year old from the beautiful islands of the Bahamas. I’m the oldest of four kids and a devoted Star Wars fan with a secret addiction to sweet potato fries.
I love to travel, write, and have fun adventures, but not as much as I love to help people in need. Before I started college, I became a crew member aboard the Logos Hope ship and embarked on a four-month journey to South East Asia. I dabbled in different cultures across Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist countries and made more international friends than I can keep up with, all the while helping people in the community. The relationships I made, experiences I had and smiles made on local faces were absolutely rewarding.
Now I am a senior soon graduating from Flagler College with a major in Strategic Communications and focus in digital marketing. Being creative and writing are favorite pastimes of mine, so I am lucky to be in a field where I can express this daily. My ultimate dream is to travel the world as a blogger or social media specialist with a sweet tea in hand. But who knows where I’ll end up! The biggest thing I have learned over the years is to roll with the waves.
Blog: Plugged. In.

Katie Garwood

My name is Katie Garwood and I am a sophomore journalism major at Flagler College. I’m very excited to be learning about Cuba and traveling there this summer, especially since it will be my first time out of the country. I’ve lived in Florida my whole life; I was born and raised in Melbourne. In my free time, I enjoy playing golf, hiking, spending time with friends/family and watching some of my favorite shows like “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “The Office” or “The Daily Show.”
Blog: Katie Garwood in Cuba.

Amanda Kraus

A Florida native from Ocala, I’m now a student at Flagler College with a double major in journalism and history and a minor in political science. Writing has always been the one thing that comes naturally to me and as I’ve gotten older I’ve become more and more interested in journalism. Over the years I’ve come to prefer objective, unbiased, research and informative pieces for my writing over opinion pieces. However, where I want to go career-wise with this, I haven’t quite narrowed down yet.
Blog: A. Kraus Writings

Hannah Pierce

Hannah Pierce is a freshman studying Theatre Arts at Flagler College. She loves the way theatre broadens the perspectives of audiences and actors alike, and believes travel is no different. She is studying in Cuba to experience new adventures and understand the Cuban culture. After graduate school, she hopes to open a playhouse and bring the art of theatre to young people.
Blog: Hannah to Havana

Michelle Zaldivar

Hi, my name is Michelle and I’m a Media Studies/Creative Writing student at Flagler College. I’m originally from Miami, but have lived in various cities and towns over the years. I’m a big fan of traveling, reading about strange oddities, and learning. Hopefully, my writing reflects that.
Blog: Honest Traveling.

Brenna Deblasio

Hi, friends!
Brenna’s my name, consuming copious amounts of coffee is my game.
I am currently in my freshman year here at Flagler college, working toward a major in Communications. I am a member of Flagler’s very own, Phi Alpha Omega and I am also on the Campus Activities Board of Directors (CAB). In my free time, I enjoy sleeping, hanging with friends, and watching Netflix. At the moment, I’m making my way through The Office, but my all-time favorite show is Parks and Rec. On the topic of shows, I also really love The Bachelor, so if anyone wants to talk about Nick and his relationships with the girls, come find me! Back home, I have a pretty big family and I’m pretty close with my parents and my three younger sisters, all of whom I love and miss dearly. I’m from Maryland, so (of course) my favorite food is crabs- covered in Old Bay. While in Florida, I settle for French fries taking the number one spot in my heart. I also love cookie dough and pretty much always keep a sheet of Nestle’s Toll House Chocolate Chip Lovers in my fridge.
I’m very excited for this opportunity to go to Cuba and get to know everyone else going, and I hope we have a great semester in class together leading up to the trip!
Blog: BlahBlahBrenna.

Taylor Edwards

Taylor is a sophomore at College. She is pursuing a degree in Hospitality Management with a minor in advertising. She hopes to become an event planner after graduation in her hometown of Englewood, FL.
Blog: Taylor’s Blog.

Olivia Collins

Olivia Collins is a sophomore at Flagler College, and originally from New England. She’s a media studies major with a political science minor. She loves reading, writing, and seeing new places. She looks forward to experiencing Cuban culture first hand, and seeing all the country has to offer.
Blog: Olivia Goes to Cuba

Jared Olson


Restless adventurer and lover of life. Currently residing in St. Augustine Florida- for now.
Blog: Jared Olson: Meditations on the world and everything in it

Katherine Hamilton

Hi, My name is Katherine Hamilton. I am 19, and I was born and raised in Naples, Florida. Currently, I am majoring in journalism. I have a passion for curiosity, and I love to transform my observations into writing. I also love playing the piano and making art. Most of all, I am obsessed with traveling. Both of my best friends are either first or second generation Cubans in the United States. Seeing their way of life and love of community first hand is what inspired me to want to go to Cuba. I can’t wait to further expand my knowledge and love of Cuban Culture!
Blog: Katherine Goes to Cuba

Austin Sanchez

Austin studies journalism and political science at Flagler. He’s lived in Tampa, Minneapolis, Chicago and beautiful Fargo, ND. He enjoys reading, writing, basketball and the musical stylings of Duke Silver. His favorite ramen noodle flavor is spicy chicken.
Blog: Austin Ed Sanchez

Matthew Drennen

Hello! My name is Matthew Drennen, and currently I am a sophomore at Flagler. I am studying international studies and Spanish. One of my passions is traveling, I love creating new relationships and understanding new cultures. I am most excited about this Cuba trip to hear Cuban stories and try to understand the relationship between Cuba and the United States.
Blog: The Life of Matthew Drennen

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