Continuing Jenny Cordero’s legacy: a  journey of sisterhood and community support

In 2017, Jenny Cordero lost her battle with stage three thymus cancer. Seven years later, her friends and family continue celebrating her mission with the community.

Cordero was an active student during her time at Florida International University. She served as vice president of recruitment for the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority and as survivorship chair and executive director for Relay for Life in 2014 — two organizations that continue to honor her legacy.

“After her passing in 2017, I made a promise to myself that I would do what I could to help keep her legacy alive,” said Christina Lopez, senior development manager for the American Cancer Society and Cordero’s ‘little sister’ within the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority. “She poured so much of her heart and soul into Relay for Life, Delta Phi Epsilon and FIU. It is important to me that we continue keeping her legacy alive.”

In 2022, the Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation established the Dream Girl Scholarship, which was endowed by Elsa Bravo, alumni, and members of the Alpha Gamma chapter at FIU. The annual grant is awarded to an undergraduate sister of the chapter who showcases financial need and Cordero’s qualities of resilience and academic appreciation.

Jenny’s Dream Team is composed of Jenny’s friends and family who participate in the event at FIU every year in her honor. They begin fundraising about three months prior to the event and come together to prepare a banner to hang over their tent as they sell homemade rice and pork rinds, donate their hair, walk laps and dedicate luminarias in Cordero’s name.

Christina Lopez pictured after donating her hair. (Photo courtesy of Christina Lopez)

“Jenny was incredibly loved and admired by so many which has made the preparation quite smooth,” says Christina Lopez.

Jenny’s Dream Team thus far has raised $694 of their $1,000 goal for this year.

“What makes Relay for Life so special is the community coming together for the same purpose,” said Vanessa Perugachi, the Relay for Life communications co-director at FIU. “It’s an amazing event where survivors, loved ones and allies show their support.”

Relay for Life at FIU has raised $26,970.28 of their $60,000 goal as they celebrate the 20th anniversary of the event.

Luminaria dedicated to Jenny Cordero at Relay for Life. 
(Photo courtesy of Christina Lopez)

Relay for Life will be taking place at Florida International University’s Modesto Maidique campus on March 15, 2024 at the Ryder Business Building starting at 6 p.m.

Click to join or support Jenny’s Dream Team
Click to join or support Relay for Life at FIU

Jacqueline Flores Figueras is a junior at Florida International University majoring in digital media and pre-law. Currently, Jacqueline is a college marketing representative for Sony Music U.