Ayana Rivera, a junior at SUNY Oswego has a knack for juggling responsibilities. Not only is she a marketing major and the vice president of the women’s rugby team, but if you turn on WTOP, she is one of the stars of on the hit show “Two Girls, One Desk.” How does she manage the workload? “I take as many naps as I can and stay up most of the night.”
Hailing from the Bronx, Ayana has a great reason for ending up so far from home. “My aunt went here when she was younger, so I checked out the school. The second I saw the lake and campus, I fell in love. It was so beautiful. I still think that, too, even with all the snow.”
But now her favorite part of campus is Hidden Fields, where rugby practice is held Mondays through Fridays. “It’s a big commitment and some days I feel really lazy and I don’t want to go, but once I get there, I get into it and always have a good time.” No matter what the weather brings, Ayana will always be out there, giving it her all.
Going from being a player to vice president was a change. “I feel like now that I have a position of power I need to be a role model for the team. They have to be able to trust me to organize games, organize our home tournament and have bonding events set up for us to remain a close team.”
Having played rugby for six semesters, Ayana did not escape injury. Last spring during a rough tackle, Ayana’s shoulder was dislocated and she had to be taken directly to a hospital in Binghamton. “It hurt a lot, but that’s not going to stop me from playing. I’ve seen way worse injuries, so I got off lucky. I just don’t tell my mom that I’m still playing…because she kind of made me promise not to anymore.”
Her responsibilities don’t end once the semester does, however. Even without all her marketing homework, Ayana still stays busy hosting what she calls “Camp Ayana,” for her two younger cousins, Johnny and James. She doesn’t mind giving up almost all of her summer to watch them. “We make the funniest videos together, so it’s not even like it’s work for me. And who knows, maybe I can get them YouTube famous somehow!”
So keep your eyes out for Ayana Rivera. She’s easily spotted due to her beautiful curly hair that receives contant compliments and her permanently muddy cleats that she carries to class after a hard practice. Now that’s dedication.