Raquel Ireifej, Roots & Shoots Member & National Youth Leadership Council Alumna
All her life, Raquel has been inspired and motivated to make a difference. Her story of giving back follows a line of passionate, change-making women. Describing herself as a “purposeful” person, Raquel says she was sometimes called a dreamer. But through Roots & Shoots, she realized she wasn’t alone in her passion for driving change. What some might call a dream, her peers in Roots & Shoots would call a goal worth working toward.
Raquel first joined Roots & Shoots in seventh grade. She observed the huge impact one project, in particular, had on the community: a Thanksgiving food drive. When Raquel formed her own Roots & Shoots group in high school, her group took action and took the food drive to a new level. Of the many projects she did during her more than nine years in Roots & Shoots, this one was her favorite. Her group collaborated with social services in their community to make the biggest difference for those who needed it most, and they measured their impact, delivering Thanksgiving meals to over 250 families each year.
Today, Raquel lives in Chicago and works in sales, in this way following in her father’s footsteps. Raquel credits Roots & Shoots with her professional success, in no uncertain terms. She feels confident in management, leadership, and networking because she learned and practiced these skills again and again through the service projects she organized with her peers. She learned to work with all different types of people and how to present her ideas effectively through public speaking opportunities. Her goal is to continue working to make a difference in her everyday life because being an advocate is part of who she is.