Success Story: Yanely Rivas header image


Name: Yanely Rivas
Salem, Oregon
High School:
McKay High School
University of Oregon
Year in school:
Ethnic Studies as well as Planning, Public Policy, and Management (double major)
Activities Involved in On Campus: 
Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán (MEChA), Multicultural Center, Oregon Student Association (OSA), UO Mujeres 

What do you wish you would have known/done before coming to college?
I wish I would have known more about loans and student debt. While I have been fortunate not to have taken out that many loans, I now know I should have rejected the unsubsidized loan I accepted my freshman year.

What is one of the best things about college? 
One of the best things about being in an institution of higher education is being exposed to knowledge of one's cultural history and that of other communities. I find it very invigorating to know about the history and present state of Latino/as in relation to social, political, and economic status. It's crucial information when working with any marginalized community in order to begin to address disparity gaps.

How has GEAR UP helped you?
GEAR UP has helped me in so many ways. It has given me a sense of economic security and allowed me to focus on what's truly important: my academics and extracurricular activities. By complementing one another, I am able to engage what I learn in the classroom in my community work and vis-e-versa.

What are your future career plans?
I have yet to solidify what my career path will be. I have narrowed my future career plan to a community organizer within a non-profit setting or lawyer, maybe even a professor. I am passionate about migrant rights and the retention & success of students of color in the education system. All I really know is that my career path will be social justice-based.