Please introduce yourself, the year you graduated, and what was your major when you graduated?
Hi There ! My name is Kayla Samantha Rivera and I graduated with a degree in Sociology and Addiction Studies from The School of Arts and Sciences.
What was your Syracuse University experience like when you attended?
My experience at Syracuse University was very insightful. I began my Freshman Year with so many preconceived notions about what I wanted out of life and higher education; after 4 years at Syracuse, I came out a different person. I definitely have to attribute that to the amazing people that I have met and my field of study.
What did you do post-SU?
I joined the United States Peace Corps and served in The Philippines as an Education volunteer. During my Peace Corps service I implemented remedial reading and youth volunteer projects at a local High School in the Province of Isabella on the island of Northern Luzon. I also worked on livelihood projects alongside Filippino women, children and fellow Peace Corps Volunteers. During the first few months of my service, a group and volunteers and I worked on a major project to install trash bins throughout a rural mountain town. Collectively, we were able to supply the town of La Trinidad, Benguet, The Philippines with over 20 trash cans. Once I returned to the United States, I began working as a Campaign Manager for a variety of progressive causes. In 2012 I worked on the campaign to re-elect President Obama and fought tirelessly to keep funding for Planned Parenthood clinics nationally.
What’s the best advice you would give to current students?
TRAVEL ! No honestly… Get out of America. Take some time off between work and school, buy a plane ticket somewhere far away, see the world for yourself. There is nothing more beautiful than experiencing new languages, new foods, new cultures. Pack a backpack, be safe and explore the world. Trust me…..its worth it !
What do you think about LANSU Scholarship?
I think that it is a very powerful initiative. We, as Latino’s, need to collectively work towards uplifting our communities. We have made so many positive strides, but our work is far from over. The LANSU Scholarship helps to propel academic achievement for Latino Youth and that, is AMAZING !
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