Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies
College/School: School of Environment, Arts and Society, College of Arts, Sciences & Education
In 1997, Raquel Sedano lost her husband (and father of their four children) to cancer. Living in New York at the time, she decided to pack up and move with her children to Miami to be closer to family. Nine years later, she was diagnosed with cancer and put her dream of getting a college degree on hold. When she lost her job in 2011, she finally decided the time was right to go back to school.
She enrolled at FIU and four years later, had a degree in international relations. However, there were classes she didn’t get to take at the time, so she decided to return and pursue a second degree in liberal studies. With support from professor Iqbal Akhtar, she volunteered with Sikh and Ahmadiyya Muslim communities in South Florida to promote understanding of culturally diverse religious communities. She interned at the International Rescue Committee where she helped Syrian refugees. And she regularly volunteers at Lotus House, a home for abused women.
Raquel credits her father, who passed away earlier this year, for her strong work ethic. Her family, she says, has given her the love, patience and support she needed to accomplish her college dreams. Now that she has two degrees in hand, she plans to return to New York to pursue a career helping refugees build new lives in the United States.
By Talia Gonzalez
Writer, College of Arts, Sciences, & Education