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First-generation student Q&A: Raquel Moreira ’26

Randolph College is bringing a new honor society, Tri-Alpha, to campus.

Tri-Alpha, which celebrates the academic accomplishments of first-generation college students, will be led by the College’s Office of Identity, Culture, and Inclusion, and Carly Pearce, assistant director of Randolph’s Master of Arts in Coaching and Sport Leadership program.

An induction ceremony will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 8, National First-Generation to College Day.

As we prepare for the ceremony, we will be profiling some of Randolph’s first-generation students.

Raquel Moreira ’26

Hometown: Born in Portugal before moving to Manassas, Virginia 

What are you studying: Engineering physics 

What does it mean to you to be a first-generation student?

I am the first generation of my family to go to college. Both my parents have only a middle school education, and my brother never went to college. Because of this, my parents never planned for me to go to college, so I am currently paying for it completely by myself. I will be earning my dual degree from Randolph in mathematics and engineering physics, then going to another college to get my civil engineering degree. 

What interested you in your major/area of study?

I always love the idea of creating something that will live long after I do. Because of this, I was always interested in architecture and engineering.

What advice would you give other first-gen students?

I know being a first-generation is hard, and you don’t really have anybody to go to for advice. But you got this. Someone has to be the first. If you ever need help, go to someone in the school system for advice.

What is special about Randolph?

I liked Randolph because it felt very welcoming, and the SUPER program helped me feel very organized and helped me understand what my path is. 

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