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Yomira Rodriguez: Part-Time Soldier, Full-Time Student

Name: Yomira Rodriguez

Hometown: Elizabeth, New Jersey

Major: Social Work

Year: Junior

What organizations are you involved in on campus?

Currently I am the president of Social Work Club, president of Taekwondo Club, and a participant in Soccer Club, and Student Veterans of Winthrop.

You are currently serving part time in the army, while attending school full time- can you tell me a little about that?

I enlisted in the National Guard in 2014 and came to Winthrop the spring of 2015. I serve as a Chaplin assistant, which is like being a bodyguard, but also includes a lot of office work. Chaplains aren’t allowed to carry weapons for defense so it would be my responsibility to protect in active duty. Serving as a Chaplain assistant also practices social work because I help with suicide awareness and mental health of the soldiers.

What training and active duty have you participated in so far?

Once a month I am required to do training. Sometimes I train on the base in Rock Hill for classes, other times I go to Columbia for rifle and field training.  During the Columbia floods in October of 2015 my unit went to make sand bags to stop water in the rivers and dams. It happened during exam week, which was a little stressful, but my professors were extremely understanding and helpful.

What do you enjoy about being active in Taekwondo and Soccer Club?

Taekwondo is great for females trying to learn self-defense skills. It’s taught by a Winthrop alumni, Thomas Husky, who also serves in the military. So far I am a yellow belt, but moving up in ranks is the fun part. Also, we need more girls in soccer club, so send the word out!

What do you like doing in your spare time on campus?

As a social work major I love sitting at the Scholar’s Walk swings, meeting new people and hearing their stories. I stay busy between all the clubs, but in my introvert moments I enjoy being in my room, playing guitar.

Is it difficult for you taking on so many leadership positions?

The army helped develop my leadership skills before coming to Winthrop. Through my organization leadership I get to practice those skills. It helps me retain them for when I will be a full time officer in the Army.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan on active duty and possible deployment over seas, eventually. I hope to earn my masters degree through the military so I can make a career as a medical social worker in the Army.

*Contact Yomira for info about any of the listed clubs: rodriguezy2@winthrop.edu


Grace Holtzclaw is a sophomore Social Work major at Winthrop University, concentration in mental health studies. Her biggest aspiration in life is to wake up next to a pug every morning, have a cup of Keurig coffee, and eat cinnamon oatmeal before attending work as a mental health counselor. If she's not participating as the chair of fundraising for her Social Work club or writing articles with her awesome HC team, then she's in the gym making those gainz. She lives her life through Drake quotes such as "Live for today. Plan for tomorrow. Party tonight." and "Where you movin'? I said onto better things." Follow her on Instagram @gracieholtz and Twitter @gholtzie
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