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Maryanisa's Story

Maryanisa Del RioMaryanisa Del Rio is a senior majoring in neuropsychology and minoring in business administration. When she is not busy with her full-time school workload, she is balancing four jobs or volunteering to help women and children. Her hobbies include reading poetry and handing out with her friends.

“I come from a very diverse family. I am half Puerto Rican and half Guatemalan. I grew up in Worcester, MA, knowing my Puerto Rican heritage well because of my father. I’ve always yearned to know more about my Guatemalan side of the family. In school, I would always choose to learn about Guatemala because even though my mother is Guatemalan, she was adopted by my Polish and French grandparents. My grandparents also adopted my aunts and uncles from South Korea. Our Christmas photo looks like the United Nations. Growing up I was always around different cultures, so I truly value and enjoy being in diverse settings. We're all human, but we all have these little details that make us different from one another I think there's so much beauty in our diversity.

This past summer, I went to California and met my Guatemalan side of the family for the first time. I gained this whole new understanding of who I was, and where I come from because I finally met my mother’s biological family. I connected with my uncle, and I couldn’t help but see the similarities in his appearance and even his personality with my brother. We all instantly connected, and I felt like I discovered this other part of me that was missing. I think it is important to know who you are and where you come and to not only embrace another person’s diversity but your own as well.”