Brazilian-born student leader finds ‘growth mindset’ at Weber State

OGDEN, Utah — Raissa Rohbock came to Utah from Brazil with a clear goal: learn English, then move back to her hometown as soon as possible. 

Now, 12 years later, Rohbock is fluent in English – along with four other languages – and she’s still living in the U.S. 

“I never went back,” Rohbock said. She vividly recalls seeing the mountains on a flight to Utah and asking herself, “Why would I ever leave this place?”

Rohbock is from a small town called Porto Velho, close to the Amazon River and surrounded by the rainforest. 

“I’m literally a jungle girl,” she said. “I grew up with no internet, no cell phone, not a lot of pictures and in a very remote location.”

She misses the weather, the fruits and the dancing at Boi Bumbá, an annual Brazilian folkloric celebration. But Rohbock said Weber State has given her a “growth mindset” and she loves the connections she’s made on campus and in the community. 

Rohbock is chief justice for WSU’s Student Association, a Presidential Leadership Fellow, a First Year Experience mentor and an Honors Program student advisory board member. She’s also part of multiple clubs and groups on campus, including Model United Nations and the Emerging Leaders Program. 

Outside of the university, Rohbock works full time as a paralegal at an Ogden law firm that specializes in immigration law. 

“At first, I was doing things just because they look good on my resume, which was really sad,” Rohbock said. “And then, Weber State made me realize that we do things to help others, to help the community.”

Of all her accomplishments, Rohbock said she’s most proud of supporting others as they achieve their goals. For example, she encouraged her husband to work toward earning a GED diploma, and he now plans to attend Weber State. She also played a role in connecting her neighbors to WSU campus resources. 

“I think I’m slowly making everybody purple,” she said. “There are so many programs and things here to help achieve what you want in life.”  

After graduating with a degree in criminal justice, Rohbock plans to attend law school. She also wants to return to the university to teach: “I would like to be 74 and still a professor at Weber State,” she said. 

Until then, Rohbock said she hopes to be an example of what’s possible when students commit themselves and take advantage of opportunities. 

“It motivates me to know that I can be a role model,” Rohbock said. “We’re going to be able to accomplish so much more than just getting a degree, but also making an impact in Ogden and the state.”


Rachel Badali, news coordinator


Rachel Badali, news coordinator