Claudia Reyes-Rios

Major: Psychology & Family, Youth, and Community Sciences

Minor: Educational Studies

Hometown: North Miami Beach, FL

Claudia attended high school in downtown Miami at School for Advanced Studies, a dual-enrollment high school. She graduated with her high school diploma in one hand and her Associate's Degree in the other. However, she wasn't entirely sure what she was meant to do after she graduated. After touring the University of Florida and later receiving the MFOS Scholarship, she was sure that this was where she needed to be. 

Claudia believes that her experiences as an MFOS Scholar during these last four years have been invaluable. She considers MFOS to have given her an endless amount of opportunities and constant support from the faculty she has come in contact with. “I know that they know who I am, understand my story, and are genuinely proud of every accomplishment. I have never felt alone because the program has created an atmosphere of motivation and acceptance.”

Outside of MFOS, one of her most valuable involvement experiences has been serving as an Assistant Director to Gatorship. Gatorship is a diversity retreat designed to educate students on social justice issues and to provide a platform for sharing lived experiences. She was on the newly formed Day Retreat staff and helped create a retreat about Dating and Sex Culture. “I was pushed to challenge myself as a leader, as an ally, and as a person. The position gave me the opportunity to share my story, but more importantly, to provide a safe space for students to share theirs.” Currently, Claudia has been selected as on one of the Gatorship 2016 Directors.

Above all, she advises MFOS scholars, especially graduating seniors, to remember to enjoy their time at the University of Florida while they’re here because these moments will soon be gone once they graduate and go out into the real world. She quotes one of her favorite quotes from the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: "A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men."

Claudia has since been selected for the University of Florida’s Family, Youth, and Community Sciences graduate program and is grateful to MFOS for helping her get there. “MFOS is more than just a scholarship. This is a program designed to set you in the right direction. I've meet so many amazing and inspiring students through this program and have created an MFOS family. This program has shaped my college experience for the better, for it paved my way towards success at the University of Florida.”