Rachel Recchia is one of two women headlining a unique season of “The Bachelorette” for season 19. She will look for love alongside Gabby Windey, the first time the franchise has included two leading women, ABC announced in a March 2022 press release. Both women were introduced to viewers during Clayton Echard’s season of “The Bachelor,” and both were left stunned by Clayton’s decisions toward the end of filming when he broke up with both women at once.
As she vied for Clayton’s heart and final rose on “The Bachelor,” Rachel revealed a lot about her dreams and background. When she saw Clayton again for the first time after filming, she showcased a strength and confidence viewers loved. “You told us you wanted to give us transparency,” Rachel told Clayton. “But you left out the most important things. You left out the part that you already knew who the one was who you loved the most.” Fans rallied to support Rachel given what they had already seen of her, but there’s plenty more to this new “Bachelorette” star.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Rachel Graduated With a Degree in Aviation & Cheered in College
Rachel graduated from the Fritz J. and Delores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University in December 2021. She received a bachelor of science degree in aviation and was one of just a handful of graduates in the program during that commencement ceremony.
As Rachel explained as she got to know Clayton during “The Bachelor,” it took her six years to get all the way through flight school. She earned a private pilot license and continued school to gain additional qualifications. As she pursued additional qualifications, she also worked as a flight instructor. Her Instagram bio notes she’s a commercial pilot now, as well as a flight instructor outside of filming “The Bachelorette.”
The future “Bachelorette” was a cheerleader during her time at Ohio University, showcasing her cheer talents on her Instagram page. Given the high-flying stunts she did during her cheer days, it perhaps comes as no surprise she’d focus on a career that keeps her in the skies. A slide in an Ohio Instagram highlight suggests Rachel was also a member of Chi Omega while at Ohio University.
2. ‘The Bachelorette’ Star Is Close to Her Family
During her hometown date on “The Bachelor,” Rachel gave fans a glimpse into her close-knit family, including parents Tony and Mary Anne. Tony Recchia’s Facebook page doesn’t reveal much about him, but notes he was from Chicago, Illinois, and currently lives in Clermont, Florida, where Rachel lives.
Rachel’s mother, Mary Anne, studied at Northeast Missouri State University when she was younger, her Facebook details. In addition, she worked in early childhood development as a paraprofessional aide in the Huntley Community School District in Illinois. Tony and Mary Anne have been married for more than 25 years, and for their 2019 anniversary, Mary Anne admitted, “Seriously 25 years feels like it flew by.”
Rachel has one brother, Anthony, who is slightly younger than she and, according to Instagram, he has the nickname “little Rec.” She appears to be a proud big sister, smiling broadly at her brother’s 2017 high school graduation in that particular Instagram update. The siblings appear to be quite close, as he’s called her his “#1 fan” on his Instagram and wished her a “Happy national sibling day!” as well.
3. She Lived in Chicago as a Child & Moved to Florida as a Teen
The Recchia family lives in Florida now, but they used to be Midwesterners. Rachel explained this “fun fact” in an Instagram post, noting, “I was born and raised in Chicago and only moved to Florida when I was a teenager.” She made it clear she’ll always love Chicago and the Cubs via the hashtags she added to the post.
As much as Rachel loves Florida and Chicago, it seems an Ohio hairstylist has a special place in her heart, too. “i’ll never stop flying to ohio to get my hair done by u,” “The Bachelorette” star quipped in a social media post where she tagged her Columbus, Ohio, stylist.
4. Rachel Loves to Travel to Exotic Locales
Given her career as a pilot, it likely comes as no surprise that Rachel loves to travel and has visited hot spots all over the world. During her time on “The Bachelor,” she told Clayton she had always loved aviation growing up. She also liked travel, and she wanted to do something a bit unusual in terms of her career. That’s how she decided on becoming a pilot, and it seems it’s already been a great fit.
Rachel’s career has already taken her all over the globe. Not only has she visited plenty of fun domestic locations, but she’s also embraced gorgeous international destinations too. According to posts on her Instagram, Rachel has already enjoyed a gondola ride in Venice, Italy, and embraced the beauty of Thailand and Indonesia as well.
5. She Isn’t Looking to Compromise on Either Her Career or Family Life
During an early date with Clayton on “The Bachelor,” Rachel opened up about her desire to be a mother. “I want to have a family so bad. I want to be a mom, and be married, and still do what I’ve worked my whole life for,” she explained, according to Bustle. When she appeared on the “Click Bait with Bachelor Nation” podcast in February 2022, Rachel acknowledged male aviation colleagues tended to put women “in a box.” Rachel said she “always wanted both,” to be a pilot and a mom. “I was like, ‘Why can’t I?’”
Rachel’s ABC bio notes she’s a “hopeless romantic” who wants a man who can embrace adventures with her. She describes herself as spontaneous, passionate, and playful, and she wants a husband who exudes those same qualities. He must be empathetic and nurturing as well, not just with Rachel, but with others around him, according to her bio.