In Her Words: Angeli Rivera

Angeli Rivera is a candidate for Student Representative to the Administrative Board for the year 2017-2018. She is currently an Academic Senator for the Science within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and is a fervent spokesperson for pediatric cancer, a cause which is very close to her. Following her successful battle against cancer, she lobbied and was able to lead a project which became the Angeli Rivera Law, which provides accommodation for students with chronic diseases. She is in her third year pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Microbiology while serving as Student Council Senator for the Sciences and as member of the Committee for Student Affairs and co-coordinator of the Student Caucus. Here’s what she had to say about her commitments and goals, if elected, for the upcoming academic year:

What are some of your achievements throughout your academic career?

I started my university career facing a very difficult health situation and I think one of my greatest achievements has been overcoming the adversity that came with that. In that same year I represented the Institution of Swimming Sport and worked as an assistant coach and student manager. In 2015, I led the signing of a law project, known as Law No. 177, The Angeli Rivera Law. This law creates reasonable accommodations for elementary, intermediate, and high school students with chronic diseases.

With the help of the representative for the Government Board, Pedro Rodriguez, we were able to implement the Angeli Rivera Law to the UPR system, which allows students in our university going through a sickness to receive this benefit. I have also been spokesperson for pediatric cancer for two consecutive years, bringing motivation to those that need it, and raising money for various non-profit organizations. This month, I was chosen as the symbol youth of the American Society Against Cancer.

Angeli is a cancer survivor and has been cancer-free for three years.

What are some of the qualities that help qualify you for the position of Administration Board?

In order to be a student representative you need to be a well-rounded and genuine person with a lot of bravery and commitment. The situations that have been presented to me in life have led me to develop all of these qualities that make up a leader. A leader must have the bravery to face any adversity and have a positive attitude while working to solve problems. Being involved in sports has also led me to develop discipline, discernment, concentration, and a lot of responsibility. I think that anybody who knows me can say that I am charismatic person with initiative and passion who does not give up easily. I love to learn, listen and, more than anything, I love to serve. I think that all of these qualities, and still more that I need to develop, can help me to be a successful student representative in the Administration Board.

If elected, what are some of your goals?

My platform for the candidature of the Administration Board is simple, genuine, and focused on commitment. It's based on creating an effective communication and work together with the student community to obtain real results. We know that the University of Puerto Rico is currently going through a crucial moment in history and it is because of this that it is imperative to work with real problems that directly affect all students. One of my goals is working with the infrastructure of our campus, especially our parking lot. I consider  the complete pavimentacion and re-painting of the division lines in the Biology parking is of utmost importance.

It is also imperative to improve accessibility to different buildings for disability students with diverse functionalities. From fixing broken and uneven ramps, to fixing elevators and finding external funds to obtain more tables and chairs for our student community. I also think that it is of utmost importance in these times to develop a program for an external fundraising, like donations for the benefit of our campus. Another goal is to increase student participation and create a forum where we can educate the whole campus community on what is happening with the UPR system and our country.

What is your commitment with the UPR?

Throughout my three years as a UPRM student, I’ve had the opportunity to grow greatly as a student, professionally, and personally. In moments when our university faces adversities and where its future looks unclear, it is the moment to return everything it has given me to my university. Se nos va la vida en esta lucha. The moment to work together for our university is now.

Angeli exhorts all students to give her their vote and trust her this next Monday, April 3rd, 2017, and that we also work together for our education. “We are around 11,838 students in Colegio and all of us with the same goal; defend our university…Allow me to be your voice!”