Scholarship Recipients

Rivka Rivka has recently started a strength-training regimen and introduced herself to rock climbing with the idea that if one puts oneself in uncomfortable situations daily, then eventually one becomes comfortable with discomfort -- which exercises both our physical abilities and our everyday interaction abilities. In addition she is excited to have been accepted into her dream nursing program! She also has become a Toastmasters member and is now applying for a tutoring position at school.

Rivka, our first grantee from Florida, was born in Moldavia. She lived in Israel before emigrating to the United States at the age of six. While in Israel, at the age of three, she lost much of her hearing. Both her parents also have severe hearing losses. Nevertheless, Rivka has managed to succeed, while helping her parents, who only speak Russian.

Rivka enjoys athletic activities like swimming and gymnastics, has been a volunteer for the Humane Society, and has worked part-time as an orthodontic assistant and gymnastic instructor to help the family make ends meet.

Rivka is now in nursing school, and is really enjoying it. She mentions she's experienced a whole range of activities ranging from bonding with people who have mental disorders to seeing babies born. She also has learned that "creating genuine friendships balance and sweeten our lives."

Rivka also had some advice for new students stepping into college. "Be your authentic self. Meet people outside of your normal circle, ethnic background, and major. Explore the resources that are oftentimes under your nose, try new things. Get to know your community, the artists, philanthropists, political leaders, and janitors. You'll be surprised at how we are interconnected - but above all - human."