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Ashley Rivas Receives Scholarship Award from
The Hispanic Support Organization at Verizon


Posted November 7, 2017



Ashley Rivas (center) holding her scholarship award at the October 5 presentation in Verizon’s Basking Ridge Headquarters.
With Ashley are ( r.) Magda Yrizarry,  Verizon Chief Talent & Diversity Officer and Vice President; Odiles Cardines, VP, Hispanic Support Organization; Yeimy Ureña, Ashley’s mother; Martin A. López, President, Hispanic Support Organization; John Stratton, Verizon Executive Vice President & President, Global Operations. 

Freshman Ashley Rivas is a 2017 recipient of the Carmen Rivera Scholarship award from the Hispanic Support Organization of New York (HSO), a nationwide Hispanic employee resource group within Verizon.  Ashley is the first PCCC student to receive the HSO scholarship.

This means everything to me,” said Ashley. “It’s the first scholarship I ever got.”  The Paterson resident received her award at an October 5 ceremony at Verizon’s headquarters in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.
She was accompanied by her mother, Yeimy Urena, a PCCC employee.

“It was a little intimidating to be on camera in front of all those people,” said Ashley. “The ceremony was seen throughout the entire Verizon company.”

The HSO is a national, non-profit organization founded by Verizon employees with these primary goals: To support the company’s work, advance the personal and professional excellence of Hispanic employees, and contribute to the communities served by Verizon.

The Carmen Rivera Scholarship Program is named for one of HSO’s founding members. Scholarship awards of varying amounts are given each year.

Ashely’s $3,000 scholarship award may be applied to the cost of tuition and books.  “My family is very happy,” said Ashley. “The scholarship money will be helpful.”

A biology major at PCCC, Ashley discovered a love for science as a student at the Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology, a K-12 school.  “I first had a class about genetics and DNA and loved it,” she said. “After that, I took every science class I could.”

Following her high school graduation last May, Ashley attended the PCCC STEM Summer Scholars Academy where she learned about biology courses offered at the College, and decided to major in that field.  “I am really interested in learning about the body…what it can do, can’t do, even diseases,” said Ashley.

At the moment, Ashley is considering a career in either research or education. “I’m interested in working in a lab researching diseases or toxicology,” she said, “but I also like teaching.”

Two years ago, she spent the summer with her little brother who has autism and a speech impediment. “That piqued my interest in education,” explained Ashley. She also gained experience as a peer mentor in high school, explaining to younger students what to expect when they move on to high school.

As for herself, Ashley discovered that what she had been told to expect in college was not what she experienced at PCCC.   “I expected professors would not care about students or give us much personal attention,” she said. “But at PCCC, it’s just the opposite. I love my professors here.”