Raquel Real is a Chicago native and graduated from Illinois State University with a BS in Community Health Education. Upon graduation, she became a research assistant at Rush University Medical Center, where her passion for public health grew. She worked in different communities in Chicago and nearby suburbs and saw the need for more bilingual nurses which made her decide to pursue her public health passion even more but this time attaining clinical skills. That is when she decided to transition and attain her nursing degree. Raquel is currently a graduate student pursuing her Master's in Nursing at UIC. Raquel's goal is to be another resource for the community.
Public health is her passion but so is being able to promote and support other students of color pursuing degrees in STEM. Being a first generation Latina college student herself, she knows the importance of being supported in spaces that are not always so welcoming and hard to navigate. She hopes to continue to be a mentor for students and help them achieve their goals. She plans to get her Doctorate in Nursing but also wants to become a professor at UIC in the future.
“I tell my students, 'When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.”