Rey Rivas

Rey Rivas, Spark foundation

By AnaMaria Bech 

Click aqui para español- >Rey Rivas

Where are you from? 

Piedras Negras Coahuila, Mexico.                                                 

Where do you reside?

Chalmette, LA.

What kind of hobbies or activities do you enjoy?        

Every Tuesday, I get to see different parts of the city with the 504th run crew. I play soccer, read and I participate in any educational workshops or networking events that can help advance my business and non-profit. 

What schools have you attended?

Chalmette High School and Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma City. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Latino Studies/Latino Ministry with a minor in both Business and Spanish/English Translation.

What does your job entail?

I started Spine NOLA Construction, LLC along with my father. We focus on residential and commercial remodeling. I also lead the New Orleans chapter of a national non-profit organization called Spark Foundation which seeks to motivate and enrich multicultural diversity in the student and local communities through an individual’s success stories and testimonies. We also assist individuals achieve higher education with educationally driven scholarships, focused on students currently under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration policy (DACA).

Why did you get into this field?

My faith and flame grew my freshman year at SNU with the DACA immigration policy passed in 2012. This struggle shaped my vision. I didn’t know how then, but now with Spark, I am contributing to making someone’s educational dreams come true. As the vice president of scholarships and a founding board member, I plan on creating a safe community of DACA recipients and Dreamers here in New Orleans where they can share the journey and succeed through all obstacles. I plan to attract sponsors for the cause and provide the stories of brave individuals in need of funding opportunities and merit driven scholarships in order for their stories to help move individuals to a place to work towards their career goals.

 What makes you passionate about this work?

With Spark, we are trying to magnify the stories of those pursuing a greater way of life through education and impacting their community, regardless of their legal status or race. In the famous words of Kennedy,” Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” This is our future. This is our Spark.

What makes you proud about being in New Orleans?

New Orleans has really shaped me in seeing the world in one city, a world of diversity and community. People are friendly and outgoing, welcoming to all. The vibe is always for a good time!

AnaMaria Bech



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