HSF Leadership Role:Member, HSF Advisory Council, New York
Raised in Jacksonville, Florida, Valentina Osorio, has as older brother and a younger sister. She was the first in her family to go to college, receiving wholehearted support from her mother, who encouraged her children’s aspirations to get a higher education, despite not having had the opportunity to even finish high school in her native Colombia.
“I always enjoyed school and loved learning from a very young age,” Valentina says, adding that at some point during her childhood, it dawned on her that the primary source of the hardships her family was experiencing, was lack of both an education and the opportunity to pursue one. She states that it was this realization, her passion for learning, and her desire to create a better standard of living for her family that ultimately motivated her to attend college.
She attended the University of Florida where she majored in Finance and was an active participant in school life. She served as vice president of the Entrepreneurship Club and vice president of the Southern Scholarship Foundation. While at the university, she also founded Sin Limites Foundation whose vision is to “To empower and increase the number of Latinos who attend college to achieve a professional career in order to build a strong Hispanic community.”
College wasn’t without its challenges—the biggest, that she was unaware of the resources available to her. “It takes a lot of effort to navigate through college without much guidance,” she says, “but that’s where organizations like HSF come in play.” She says that HSF opened many doors for her. Her HSF Scholarship allowed her to attend her “dream school” and live on campus, and she took advantage of the opportunities HSF made available to her as a Scholar, such as attending multiple events, including HSF’s Finance Conference, STEM Summit, Career Symposium, HSF Briefing, and the Alumni Hall of Fame Gala. She notes that the HSF conferences provided the opportunity to network with her peers, give back by mentoring others, and meet professional mentors.
While still in college, she completed an internship at Bank of America. After graduation, she joined the bank as a treasury analyst in Charlotte, North Carolina, before being given the opportunity to transfer to New York, where she gained experience as a municipal banking and markets analyst. She credits HSF with helping her find her current job as an investment banking analyst with RBC Capital Markets.
Valentina joined HSF’s New York Advisory Council, in order to “pay forward” the benefits she has received from the organization. She believes in HSF’s mission, especially educating families regarding the resources and opportunities available for pursuing a higher education, make a crucial difference.
In addition to her service for HSF, she also continues her work with the Sin Limites Scholarship Fund and volunteers with Literacy Inc., Habitat for Humanity, and Heart Math Tutoring.
Regarding her success, she says, “I think we live in a world where everyone is very smart, but drive and perseverance take you a bit further and differentiate you from the rest.” Accordingly, she urges college-bound students to maintain their drive and perseverance, no matter what obstacles arise. If they can just do that, she notes, there are resources available that can help them make their dreams a reality.