Alumnus plans surprise proposal in PBSC chemistry lab
When Fernando Lopez walked into his Palm Beach State College organic chemistry lab in the fall of 2017, a student sitting in the row behind him caught his eye.
That student was Glades Central High School graduate Doris Bridgeth Cabrera.
“I thought Doris was so beautiful, and I knew right then I needed to find a way to get her number,” said Lopez.
Lopez eventually gave Cabrera his Snapchat username in the hopes she would message him. Unfortunately, that message never came. Disappointed, he knew he had to come up with Plan B.
One day while in the lab, Cabrera left her phone on the countertop. Lopez quickly snatched it and put it in his lab coat. When Cabrera started nervously looking for it, Lopez offered to call it using his phone. Desperate to find it, she gave him her number.
When Cabrera heard it ringing in his coat, she quickly realized his trick, which paid off for Lopez as she then agreed to hang out with him.
Lopez and Cabrera quickly became friends and their romance blossomed. Lopez graduated with his Associate in Arts degree in the fall of 2017 and Cabrera with her Associate in Arts degree in May of 2018. They both then went to Florida Atlantic University together to earn bachelor’s degrees in biological sciences.
In the fall of 2023, Lopez was ready to propose and thought it was only fitting to do so where they first met.
He and Cabrera had been going back to PBSC to study for the MCAT regularly so he knew it wouldn’t be a problem to get her back on campus. However, to get her to the chemistry lab, he told her that one of their friends was over there and needed their help to prepare for an interview to medical school.
On Sept. 18, Cabrera gladly agreed to help her friend and headed over with Lopez to the Natural Sciences building. Before they got to the lab, Lopez stopped and told her he had a surprise for her and blindfolded her.
Lopez had the room decorated with her family, friends and professional photographer waiting in the wing. He quickly changed clothes in the bathroom before escorting her in.
“I was really nervous and had no idea what was coming,” said Cabrera, who was a dually enrolled student while in high school. “I was so surprised he proposed. We had been talking about it, but I had no idea when or where it would happen.”
Lopez, who was born in Polk County, Fla., and Cabrera, who was born in Honduras, plan to take the MCAT in January. They hope to attend Ponce Health Science University in Puerto Rico.
For now, they are enjoying planning their wedding for April of next year.