I majored in education, specifically Family and Consumer Science Education. And I graduated in 1979. I graduated magna cum laude. I always tried to excel and be perfect at everything. I thought that would give me that “over the rainbow life,” [laughs] but of course now I realize that was not the case. So that was my major which was interesting because you know my parents weren’t that keen on the whole thing. So in my dad’s mind I think he thought, “Oh she’s going to school to learn how to be a housewife anyways.” [laughs] But it was funny. I used to drive this old car that would break down all the time and one of those days he had to come almost all the way out to Framingham to get the car. He stops to get lunch and the guy at the coffee shop—you know my dad was friendly and talked to people and so he was talking about what he was doing out there, going to get my car at school. And the guy asked what I was studying and he told him kind of, and this guy went on to tell him that, “You have no idea. Do you realize the classes she has to take?” And he started telling him, she’s got to take organic chemistry and she has to take all these psychology classes and started to tell him what I was really up to. Not learning how to cook and sew or whatever. And it was funny because after that I could see that he had a new perspective. He actually understood more and kind of took some pride in the fact that I was working and putting myself through college and doing well and all of that.
Linda Raffaele-Moyen was born in Leominster, Massachusetts, in 1957. She attended Leominster High School and went on to study at Framingham State, married her high school sweetheart, and had three children. She later divorced and never remarried. Although her education led her to become a teacher, she ended up opening her own business in order to better support her family. However, when she gave it up she ventured into nutrition education and outreach and continues to work in the field today. In the interview Linda shared some of the struggles and setbacks that she faced. She stated that she managed to overcome them with the help of God’s messages: “Whenever I would feel like throwing in the towel, I would see a rainbow, and I used to see rainbows, and I still do today.” Linda shared the stories of her journey in faith and how she rediscovered her understanding of God in the support group Al-Anon. Even though she has never lived in Worcester, Linda has done work to improve the city, especially during her time working at Women, Infants, and Children [WIC] for which she won the MA WIC Community Coordinator of the Year Excellence Award. She shed light on the importance of family, faith, and believing in your own abilities to live a fulfilling life.