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Remarkable Women: Alina Grandal Was Instrumental To Hialeah Senior High Student's Education

Sabrina Rodriguez
College advisor Alina Grandal (left) stands next to then student Sabrina Rodriguez in 2013 for "Academic Signing Day," a program she organized every year for students to celebrate on May 1 when they had committed to a college or university.

In honor of Women's History Month, WLRN asked listeners to nominate women they find inspiring in South Florida. We’ve heard about teachers, mothers and activists, just to name a few. We appreciate your tweets, emails and texts about the amazing women in your communities.

For 16 years, Alina Grandal helped countless Hialeah Senior High students dream big. Grandal, the former college advisor at the school, created a culture where going to college was the norm.

Former student Sabrina Rodriguez says Grandal is the reason she and hundreds of other students graduated and went to college. At the school, many students come from immigrant families and speak Spanish at home. 

When Rodriguez began to doubt her ability, she says she remembered Grandel's words of encouragement: “Don’t think about all of the reasons why you won’t be able to do this think about the reason why you can do this.” She says those words continue to resonate.

Credit Sabrina Rodriguez / Courtesy
Each year, college advisor Alina Grandal invites former Hialeah high graduates to the annual Hialeah Senior High School's college forum.

Grandal helped her navigate financial aid and college applications. 

Rodriguez graduated high school in 2013, went to Northwestern University and now works as a reporter for Politico in Washington D.C. 

Grandal retired in 2017 and still visits Hialeah Senior High School from time to time. She’s handed the baton to her daughter, who now works as the school's advisor in her mom's footsteps. 

“You know I just did my job," Grandal said. "I just loved you guys and did my job...that’s it."

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