Jeniffer Viscarra was born in El Salvador and moved to South Florida with her parents and siblings when she was seven years old. She grew up in North Miami Beach and graduated from NMB Senior High. She attended Barry University and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English in 1996. She minored in Spanish and is proud to have earned the university’s first certificate in Women’s Studies.
Upon graduation, she worked as a special education teacher at a private school that focused on students with special needs. It was a profound and rewarding experience that influenced her transition to higher education. At age 25, Jeniffer fulfilled her life-long dream of teaching in the college classroom at Florida International University. She designed and taught composition courses for the English Department while earning a Master’s degree in English Literature. Upon graduation, she accepted a full-time position as the writing lab coordinator for FIU’s main campuses, which also allowed her to continue teaching in the years that followed. During this time, in 2000, she moved to Sunny Isles Beach.
In 2004, Jeniffer decided to go to law school. She attended Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City and graduated in 2007. She came back home to Sunny Isles Beach and began her legal career working for a top immigration firm in Miami. In 2010, shortly after her son was born, she branched off on her own and began to focus more on family law, which is what she practices today. Jeniffer enjoys this area of the law because it allows her to help children at a time when the adults in their world are going through a difficult time. To that end, Jeniffer became a Certified Family Mediator, which often allows her to guide parents and spouses to settlement while minimizing the emotional and financial expense that comes with the restructuring of families.
Along the way, Jeniffer became involved with the City of Sunny Isles Beach, eventually becoming Chair of the City Advisory Committee in 2014, a position she held until her election as Commissioner in 2018. As Chair, Jeniffer focused on improving the connection between the CAC members and the city so that they may better serve as liaisons in the community. She began having an annual bus tour, allowing CAC members to see first-hand the various projects underway and to ask questions of the City Manager and staff. Jeniffer also introduced and was happy to see the implementation of the wallet card program, which helps first responders more successfully interact with people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. A year later the State of Florida passed a law requiring autism awareness training.
Jeniffer is grateful for all the opportunities made possible by her parents’ courage and sacrifice. She considers motherhood her greatest privilege and is driven to be the best possible example to her son Winston.