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HSF Scholars

Racheal Rodriguez

  • Gender: Female
  • Major: Biomedical Science
  • University: University of Florida
  • Hometown: Miami
  • State: Florida

What extracurriculars are you involved in?

University Multicultural Mentorship Program peer, Hispanic Student Association executive cabinet secretary and newsletter coordinator, student activities and involvement leadership experience peer, Membership Leadership Program graduate, Hispanic Heritage Month Closing Ceremony assistant director, first-generation organization vice president, Active Learning Program COVID-19 mitigation efforts internship, and UF call center.

What achievements, recognition, and/or awards have you received?

Florida Bright Futures Academic Scholars

Biggest hurdle you’ve overcome?

During my senior year of high school, a year filled with interviews and applying to colleges, my great-grandmother–the woman who raised me and served as my support system–lost her battle against pancreatic cancer. It was during these trying times filled with fear that I was able to understand the power of unity and family. I understood that my degree was not just for my future but for that of my family, as well.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to empower intersectionality by serving underprivileged communities through medicine. My goal would be to work against health disparities while specializing in oncology.

How has HSF helped you?

The Youth Leadership Institute taught me about vulnerability. As our groups, or “familias,” joined in a reflection circle at the end of the night, surrounded by Princeton dorms that had been established in the early 1900s, 10 girls sobbed. Each of us had a story to tell. All of our parents had immigrated to the US with hope in their eyes, determination in their bones, and courage seizing their very being. We cried as we felt what our parents felt. We were venturing into this new journey that had never been traced by our ancestors. Our parents ran to get a taste of the success one can have here. From the pain our parents felt, grew a new breed of people. I am a first-generation student. This experience taught me to savor the culture that runs through each blood vessel in my body. I am proud to be Hispanic. I am proud to be Nicaraguan. I want to change the world for what it is because of the qualities that make me who I am.

What HSF Events have you attended?

2020 National Leadership Conference, 2018 HSF Youth Leadership Institute