Profile: Bianca Rivera, President of The Literate Project

Bianca Rivera, a fourth-year Computer Science and European studies major, talks about The Literate Project, a nonprofit at UCLA dedicated to fostering education through books.

Her Campus: What is the mission of The Literate Project (TLP)?

Bianca Rivera: Our mission is to promote education by cultivating a love of reading in individuals. We do this by providing developing countries with books, libraries and literacy education.

HC: How did you first get involved in The Literate Project?

BR: I was browsing through a list of nonprofit organizations whose goals and needs are in alignment with that of my global development project. TLP, for reasons unknown to me, stood out like milk and honey. It seemed a little unanticipated picking a nonprofit far beyond the most established, but it piqued my curiosity the most.

HC: What kind of developments have you seen in TLP from when you first joined to where you are now, as the club’s very own president?

BR: I witnessed TLP at UCLA grow from a tiny club to being the most active chapter in the nation. As is the case with many nonprofit organizations, transitioning from one sustainable source of funding to the next is difficult. We were able to improve our process and develop the capacity to pursue different funding sources. We understood what we needed to do to be successful at securing those funding sources.

HC: What are some goals you want to achieve from the club as the club’s president?

BR: The club has been inactive for a while now, so I hope to re-create a community of individuals with a passion for literacy, education and human development. My goal is to raise awareness and provide a medium for individuals to engage in fundraising events critical to the growth and development of our libraries. I’d like to take up new opportunities while remaining effective and true to our mission.

HC: How has TLP impacted you?

BR: It taught me to devote myself to others, to devote myself to the community around me. It taught me to build something that gives me purpose and meaning. Without serious consideration, it becomes easy to get wrapped up in the idea of meaning something to the world at large, instead of meaning something to yourself and to those who are in most need of help.

HC:  What has been your favorite memory in TLP so far?

BR: My favorite memory is receiving pictures and videos from the children we are impacting. It is evident that there is a strong desire to learn. Knowing that we can put books in the hands and minds of these children is a comforting feeling.

HC:   How can one get involved in TLP?

BR:  Like and follow us on Facebook at LEPatUCLA! We'll keep you posted with our activities there.

HC: Any last words or words of encouragement?

BR: Literacy is important not only because it gives you a job, but also because it gives you the ability to take into account the small details when looking at the bigger picture. I believe that the world, in a time of complete political disarray, stands a better chance if we commit to properly educating the future.