post-it iconAbout Me

"A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination." ∼ Nelson Mandela

Daniela Abratt at the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa.

I am currently a senior at the University of Florida majoring in journalism with a minor in international development and humanitarian assistance.

But more than that, I am a writer, a singer and a lover of life and laughter.

My heritage is innately a part of who I am. Though many will guess from my accent that I hail from good ol' England, I am actually a second-generation South African. I was born in Johannesburg and grew up there with my parents and two older sisters. Over the 11 years I lived there, I dined on the country's exquisitely unique flavors, learned some words in a few of the country's 11 official languages, and developed lifelong friendships with some of the most inspirational people I will ever meet.

In 2001, my father was offered a job teaching at a university in South Florida, so we packed our bags and moved to Weston. Though the United States was beautiful, we experienced a major culture shock — not to mention sweltering heat and pesky mosquitoes. But with time, my family became accustomed to and even embraced the American way of life. We became legal residents in 2003 and then received our dual citizenship in 2009.

Though an official American, I still hold my South African values and culture in my heart. My life is extremely family-oriented; my sisters are my friends, and my friends are my family. I believe that I see life differently because I have been exposed to a different way of life. South Africa is a country of great beauty and is so rich in music, food and culture. But it is also a country plagued by poverty and disease.

I am now at the stage in my life where I am looking to the future and figuring out how I envision myself. I always knew I wanted to do work that mattered, something that was impactful. I knew I wanted to affect people and effect change. I want the work I do and the words I write to mean something, to be bigger than the font size in which they are printed.

My goal is to use my journalism skills in my study and eventual practice of international and human rights law.