Stories from Our Community

A renewed spirit ready to take on the world

It wasn’t long ago that senior international relations graduate Amelia Raudales doubted her ability to earn a university degree. Having dealt with imposter syndrome, the Honors College graduate now looks back upon an academic career buttressed with reassuring advice and packed with high-level activities to launch her future as a human rights attorney.

With a professor’s guidance, Raudales conducted research projects related to human trafficking for the State Department and the International Bureau of Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. With help from FIU in DC, she secured a congressional internship to better understand the legislative process.

With support from the university’s innovation and entrepreneurship engine, she collaborated with three alumni to develop a charitable-giving app for which the student-focused Center for Leadership and Service granted seed money. She also served as a student government senator and earned three national fellowships, among them one from the United Nations. The daughter of an FIU alumnus who emigrated from Honduras and a mother from Argentina, Raudales plans to work one day at the international level and has newfound confidence to get her there.

“When FIU opened its doors to me, that’s really something [for which] I can never show how thankful I am. It really did change my life. Because of all the opportunities and all of the amazing people I’ve met, I truly feel like there is no limit to my potential, and that’s not something I would have said five years ago.”

Through FIU’s Diplomacy Lab, Amelia conducted research for the State Department on trafficking, and as a congressional intern in Washington, D.C., she advocated for survivors’ rights. During the pandemic, she founded “Ame’s Crafts,” sewing facemasks and headbands and donating all profits to organizations addressing human trafficking. Raudales also created an app that enhances in-kind giving, helps alleviate poverty and fosters sustainability. She dreams of becoming a lawyer to fight for victims of sexual assault. She will spend the summer at Harvard Law School studying for the LSAT.