Jennifer Peñate

Jennifer is an award-winning journalist who joined the WFLA team in June 2020. She co-anchors News Channel 8 at 8:00 on Great 38.

As a native Spanish speaker, she’s also proud to be part of TampaHoy.com and provide information that matters the most to the Latinx community in Tampa Bay.

Jennifer was born in El Salvador and grew up in both Los Angeles and Northwest Arkansas. She graduated with a Journalism and Spanish degree from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville where spent the last three years anchoring for WFLA’s sister station, KNWA. There, she covered stories that garnered national attention like the historic flooding of the Arkansas River that displaced hundreds, the assassination of a local police officer, and chaotic protests surrounding the death of George Floyd. Jennifer started her career in 2011 as a report at KODE in Joplin, Missouri where she earned several awards for her reporting and was named by the Joplin Regional Business Journal as one of the 2016 Most Influential Women.

Her love of community and sharing people’s stories has made Jennifer a very active volunteer, keynote speaker, event host and the founder of a nonprofit. She created Girls Unstoppable in 2015 to empower young Latinas through a curriculum that focuses on overcoming obstacles, developing confidence, and higher education. Jennifer partners with elementary schools to carry out the lessons in person with the same group of girls for an entire school year; developing a bond that makes each girl feel valued, supported, and loved. She believes this is key in helping minority youth succeed in school and in their personal lives.

Jennifer is also a member the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and Gamma Eta Sorority which was founded at the University of Florida.

Outside of work, Jennifer is an avid hiker, half-marathon runner, and loves going on adventures with her pup, Tango! She’s so excited to explore the beautiful Florida beaches, find the best restaurants, and get involved with community groups in Tampa. Make sure to send recommendations and reach out to her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you have a story idea don’t hesitate to send it to jpenate@wfla.com.

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