Why I’m Attending The Black Alumni Reunion: Rianka Dorsainvil ’09


My senior year of high school, a group of us from the Hampton Roads area had the opportunity to visit Virginia Tech through the Gateway Program.  I recall the long bus ride through the mountains, wondering if I could actually manage this drive to and from Virginia Tech, should I attend this school. However, the moment I stepped foot on the beautiful campus, and dined at West End, I knew Blacksburg was going to be my home away from home.

My freshman year I had the opportunity to participate in the Residential Leadership Community which is housed in Peddrew-Yates (PY) Hall. I thought this community was very fitting being housed in PY after learning the building was named after Irving Linwood Peddrew III, who was the first black student to enroll in Virginia Tech (1952), and the late Charlie Lee Yates, who was the first black graduate, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in 1957. True leaders indeed!   

While attending Virginia Tech, I made life long friends – who took care of me while I was home-sick my freshman year; gained beautiful sisters through joining Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; became a voice for the students through being elected Vice President of the Student Government Association, and continue to live by our motto, Ut Prosim, within my profession.  

Virginia Tech is celebrated for being known for its engineering program and top-ranked dining halls, but what most alumni do not know is Virginia Tech has the top-ranked financial planning program in the country! It’s always an honor to say I am a Hokie, but I am also proud to say I have a degree in Bachelors of Science in Applied Economics with a concentration in Financial Planning. After graduating from Virginia Tech, I became very involved within my profession, and worked at a couple boutique financial planning firms before venturing off to launch my own financial planning firm, Your Greatest Contribution (YGC) , late last year dedicated to serving Gen-X and Millennials.

I am very excited to attend VT’s Black Alumni Reunion 2016 to finally go back to Kobe’s, reunite and share memories with former classmates, to give thanks to those who came before me and to celebrate the legacy of black graduates. This reunion is very special as we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first black women to attend Virginia Tech and the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Black Cultural Center. We all have a story to share and you never know who you will inspire through conversation. The current students need us to come back so we can share our stories of failed attempts, triumphs and successes, so they can say, “because of them, I know I can”. We are Hokies making a mark in the world, what’s not to share and celebrate?! Looking forward to seeing you all in April! Let’s Go, Hokies!!!

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