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Juna Madray Pulayya

About Juna Pulayya

About me

I was named after my paternal grandfather whom I never met. For a long period of time I despised my name because it was not a common “American name.”  However, as time has passed I have realized that my name is not just a name, but it is a representation of my culture and who I am today. I am first generation Guyanese-American, who was born in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I lived most of my childhood in Queens until my parents decided to move to Florida my freshman year of high school in attempt to provide me with a better education. At that point I had contempt and disdain for my parents because I did not want to leave New York, but little did I know as I matured I would discover it was the best decision my parents could have made for my two younger brothers and I.

I attended Cypress Creek High School in Orlando, Florida, as did my two younger brothers. During high school, I ran cross-country and track and to this day I believe it was one of the best decisions I made throughout my high school career. Running gave me a sense of determination and accomplishment, but more importantly it taught me to never give up and that hard work brings success. It is largely because of my experience with running cross country and track that I am where I am today.

Four years after graduating from Cypress Creek High School, I graduated from the University of Florida with an undergraduate degree in History. One year after that I earned a Masters in Secondary Social Studies Education, also from the University of Florida. During my time at the University of Florida, my lessons on being part of a team that once began with my cross country and track coach, Coach Romer, continued to grow, and I began to understand that I could make a difference and represent something much bigger than just myself.

While teaching I decided to attend law school part time at Florida A&M College of Law in Orlando, Florida. I loved teaching middle school and high school students and my colleagues, students, and I shared a mutual respect for one another. I had the pleasure of teaching in Miami- Dade, Orlando, and Lake City, Florida. Although I love being a teacher, my determination allowed me to continue to find other paths of helping people and this is why I worked hard toward reaching my goal of becoming an attorney.  After working and going to school part time, I was able to graduate and pass the Florida Bar. I now carry with my name Attorney at Law, but I am so much more.