Aleyhnna Pedraza

Aleyhnna Pedraza

Name: Aleyhnna Pedraza
Age: 22
Major: Criminal Justice
Hometown: Brownsville

My family has always been one who sticks together no matter the circumstances. I am very attached to my mother, especially. Having the privilege to be with my family and being able to get a higher education at the same time has been the biggest blessing I have had in my life. After graduation, I will be leaving the Valley, but I have been able to enjoy my home and family these past years.

What made you decide on your current major?
I have always been a person of tough character and one who has a lot of integrity. In the Criminal Justice field, those are the perfect characteristics for a person in the field. One must be able to defend others and put their own lives at risk for the good of the community. This is the perfect major for me. Knowing that society will be even an inch safer because of me will be something I would love to devote to for the rest of my working career.

What do you like most about UTRGV?
What I like most about UTRGV is its architecture. I have had the privilege of visiting other campuses and truthfully, the “hacienda” type of architecture is what makes us stand out and what makes me feel at home rather than a building that feels like any other. Also, the professors I have had have done an amazing job at making my college career challenging, yet an awesome learning experience.

What are some of your favorite study spots on campus?
Two of my absolute favorite spots to study are the UTRGV library and “La Sala” at our student union building. Both sites are extremely soothing and help me feel at ease.  Sometimes it is hard to get things done when I am at home because I get distracted, but when I am at my regular study spots I get things done fast and easy.

What does being a Vaquero mean to you?
Being a Vaquero, to me, is being part of a collaboration that I will never forget. This is the last semester of my college experience and I have met the most wonderful, helpful individuals I have ever met. I have had the opportunity to meet so many people and have had all sorts of challenges and achievements during these past four years. I will always be a part of the Vaqueros. When I walk that stage, I will walk with pride and courage. UTRGV will always be in my heart and will always be a part of me.

What opportunities has UTRGV helped you find throughout your community?
When I was a sophomore, I was hired as an orientation leader. An immense amount of opportunities has come from it. It helped me help entering freshmen, it helped me gain public speaking skills and it helped me gain leadership skills. It allowed me to meet several people with different majors and different careers. I am now very engaged with the community and with the university itself. In many ways, being an orientation leader has helped me open my eyes about what the community has to offer.

What are a few of your favorite books?
Non-fiction are the books that I always go to when I am at the library. When I have the time, I like to go to the Brownsville Public Library and read. Although, I have read many books and I loved them all, my two favorites are “A Quiet Strength” by Janette Oke and “Cirque du Freak” by Darren Shan. I strongly recommend them both.

What’s in your playlist right now?
My playlist right now ranges from hip-hop to reggaetón to rap. I listen to different types of music depending on my mood for the day.