Class of 2021

Victoria Ann Rodriguez

Litigation Paralegal, MassMutual; Age 30

When Victoria Ann Rodriguez says she likes to stay busy, she’s not kidding.

In addition to her work as a litigation paralegal for MassMutual, she chairs the Puerto Rican Parade Committee, serves on the board of the Springfield YWCA, and on nights and weekends helps clients find their dream homes as a part-time real-estate agent.

Back when she was looking into colleges, Rodriguez considered majoring in criminal justice with the hope of eventually becoming an FBI agent.

“Once I realized there was blood and other things involved, I was no longer interested in the FBI,” she said with a laugh. Instead, she decided to pursue legal studies and has just begun studying for the LSAT exam. “I love the law, and I hope to one day become an attorney.”

Passionate about giving back, she formerly chaired the community responsibility subcommittee for the Assoc. of Latinos at MassMutual and Allies, and she’s heavily active with the Girl Scouts as a decorated alumna, troop leader, and tireless advocate. Before COVID-19, she served as a mentor to students from her alma mater, the High School of Commerce, in weekly sessions at MassMutual.

“We taught them skills such as budgeting, how to prepare for an interview, and how to draft a résumé,” she recalled. “I enjoyed the sessions because I saw myself when I was in high school and would have loved to be part of this type of program.”

The Rodriguez family has always been civically active. In fact, two decades ago, Victoria’s mother was chair of the Puerto Rican Parade Committee.

“I remember helping out my mom when I was younger, and now here I am, 20 years later, as the chair of the parade committee, so it’s come full circle,” she said.

With the pandemic still lingering, the committee is weighing its options for the next parade, always with the safety of the community in mind. But she can hardly wait to step off once again. “The parade draws folks from all ethnicities, and everyone is so excited on that day. I just love it.”

The idea of persistence motivates Rodriguez; when times get tough, she calls on her courage and strength to keep “leveling up.” And through it all, she still appreciates the journey.

“Sometimes I can’t believe I’m here,” she said. “I have my own place, my own car, I even have my own dog. I’ve grown up. It’s crazy.”

 

—Mark Morris

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