Raené Dorotiss


Portland State University, Class of 2022

Social Work

Why did you choose your major?
I chose to major in Social Work because, as someone who came from a low-income background full of a variety of struggles, I want to use my career to empower others from similar backgrounds as me. I hope to use my degree to become a school social worker in the future and help build up the next generation to pursue their goals in spite of their circumstances, just as I have. I think using my education to support and encourage young people in my community to achieve greater than they can imagine is a part of my purpose.

How do you think being a first generation student has affected your college experience?
I think being a first-generation student has forced me to not take anything for granted. As the first person in my family to ever persue a higher education, I know the precedent I am setting. I have made every effort to utilize every resource I possibly can in order to get the most out of my time here at Portland State. I am always cognizant of the magnitude of my education, and never want to forget how hard my family and I worked for me to have this opportunity.

What has been the most impactful experience during your time in college?
The most impactful experience during my time at Portland State has been my acceptance and participation in the BSW (Bachelor’s in Social Work) program. To be a part of such an impressive and rigorous program, and to create relationships with so many like-minded, impressive individuals within the program, is the opportunity of a lifetime. I am so proud of the work that I do in the School of Social Work and am looking forward to continuing to expand my knowledge within it.

What does it mean to you to have been chosen as a Renaissance Scholar?
To have been chosen as a Renaissance Scholar and to be a part of the Renaissance community is such a blessing. Without the help of Renaissance, I would not be able to pursue my career goals and achieve my goal of becoming a school social worker. It means everything to me that Renaissance chose to invest in not only me, but in my future, and I will be forever grateful.