A two-time FAMU grad returns to St. Martin

Tamara Groeneveldt today. Photo courtesy: Groeneveldt

Tamara Groeneveldt is a proud graduate of  Florida A&M University. She earned a bachelor’s in 2007, when she majored in sociology and minored in social work. She followed that with a master’s in social work in 2010.

Groeneveldt is from the island of St. Martin, and resides in Grand Case (the French side of the island). She transferred to FAMU in 2005 from the University of St. Maarte.

After grad school, Groeneveldt immediately started working with the Florida Department of Health office in Orlando. She worked as a regional coordinator for the community’s Prevention to Work program. She interned at this department while she was in grad school and performed outstandingly well, which allowed her to be able to get hired two days after graduation.

She worked with the department for a year, and then was transferred back home to St. Maarten in 2011 where she worked with the island’s government as a social worker.

Tamara Groeneveldt graduating from Florida A&M in 2010. Photo courtesy: Groeneveldt

She now owns her own pastry business on the island, called St. Martin Sweetness. She has also published a poetry book called “After the Storm,” and she has been able to purchase two investment properties, which she is very proud about.

“Being able to get a job immediately after graduation, shows the benefits of relationships,” Groeneveldt said. “You never know how far you’re gonna go when you are working for a job or internship.”

Groeneveldt fondly remembers her days as a FAMU student walking the Hill to classes, getting involved in campus activities and networking and making long-term friends.

“I miss my Rattler days so much,” Groeneveldt said. “The advice I’d give to a current FAMU student is to be sure to engage in all the opportunities that FAMU has to offer. From the special events, to the theatrical productions they put on –  even the student exchanges that FAMU does to visit other colleges, from sports games to homecoming. I encourage all FAMU students to make full use of the full culture that they have there.”

Agnes Coppin, an international adviser at FAMU, was Groeneveldt’s adviser during her enrollment. She remembers Groeneveldt during her four years at FAMU.

“I remember when Ms. Groeneveldt was enrolled as a student. She was always so diligent, and I’m glad to hear about her accomplishments she has done since then.”

Another FAMU alumna from Miami, Deanna Beamon, was enrolled at the same time as Groeneveldt. Beamon was first majoring in criminal justice before switching to social work.

This allowed them to form an even closer bond, where they were able to maintain a beautiful friendship, a decade after graduation. College is where you meet your friends for life, and Groeneveldt found her companion, even while living in different cities.

“Tamara has the heart of gold and will light up any room she walks in with pride,” Beamon said. “We did a lot of bonding in our school work, and we enjoyed Rattler night life. She loves to learn and she is a very free-spirited person. I don’t want to ever jeopardize our friendship.”