Two-time alumnus Josue Raudales ’97, MS ’05 is a proud FIU Panther and an FIU parent, as well. Raudales was an international student from Honduras and a member of the Honors College during his time at the university. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering & Computing and works as a territory sales manager for Advanced Drainage Systems in Hilliard, Ohio.
Raudales’s daughter Amelia is currently studying international relations at FIU and, like him, is a member of the Honors College. She is actively involved on campus and in charitable activities and serves as president of the FIU Student Ambassadors, Honors College Senator for SGA, and a Panther Community Action Board director.
Knowing that many of his daughter’s peers at FIU are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and having been a beneficiary of financial support himself at FIU, Raudales recently made a gift to FIUstrong in support of student emergency relief through the Panther Protection Parent & Family Fund.
FIU News sat down with Raudales to discuss his lifelong Panther Pride and his decision to donate:
Q: You are a two-time alumnus and your daughter is now a student at FIU, as well. How has it been watching her journey as an FIU Panther after experiencing it yourself?
A: When Amelia graduated high school, I told her that she had the keys to the world at her fingertips, and that she could open any door she wanted to. It is humbling to see her grow into the future leader that I know she will become, and to witness how she is able to aptly manage her time and be a part of so many activities and school organizations. She has started to carve her own path at FIU and leave a positive imprint on those around her. What is interesting is that she is just getting started and has already surpassed my academic achievements in every way.
My challenges were very different from hers, due to being an international student and my financial background. I faced many challenges from the start, but I did not let that stop me from reaching my goals. I come from a humble background in Honduras and moved to the U.S. in 1991. I had to work over 30 hours a week, commute using public transportation, and carry a full academic load as well. I was determined to be at the top of my class and made sure that I gave it my all. What is interesting is that I see that same determination and hunger for success in her. I am so proud of her and admire her commitment, strength and determination.
Q: How did your FIU education impact your career and life?
A: I was going to drop out of school after receiving my A.A. from Miami Dade College. FIU was too expensive and out of reach. Thanks to the FIU Honors College and their financial support, I was able to continue my career and secure my B.S. a few years later. I am certain that my education at FIU was instrumental in my professional growth and success. I see it as the catalyst that propelled me forward and helped initiate the narrative with potential employers. I have worked in technical sales of engineered products for two decades.
The fact that I have an engineering background makes me a prime candidate for technical sales. My credentials and education, as well as the company I work for, open many doors, and give me a lot of credibility in my field. I strongly believe that my professional success and financial stability are in part due to my education at FIU.
Q: We are facing unprecedented times that have impacted everyone in some way. When you thought about how you could help out in the community, what led you to make a donation in support of student emergency relief at FIU?
A: I believe that our generation is leaving behind very daunting challenges to future generations. These challenges are wide ranging and extremely difficult to solve. These range from global warming, world hunger, national debt, economic inequality, racism and so much more. I think we have been idle at the wheel and have not done enough to improve on these issues. We should all want future generations to have a higher quality of life than ours.
I see a brilliant ray of hope in my kids and their friends. They really care about other beings, the planet and its resources. We must give them all the tools necessary to create a paradigm shift in being socially responsible and caring citizens of the world. What better tool than a means to sharpen their minds and become the leaders of tomorrow? Education is the catalyst that will accelerate their journey to become the change we need in this world.
Q: What would you say to other FIU parents and/or alumni who may be thinking of donating to help students through the pandemic?
A: I encourage you to share your resources with someone who is in need. Your good intention to help and bring momentary relief to others should be all that matters. These young students have fought to be at this point in life and decided not to take the easy way out.They strive for a better future and search for a good and honest livelihood. They have stayed on the right path and are deserving of a helping hand. Just give without expectation.
If you are able, please consider making a donation to FIUstrong to help students who are struggling as a result of the pandemic.