SRJC Alumni Profile: Javier Rivera

SRJC alum Javier Rivera is an ardent supporter of our college and his love for the North Bay started with his education at the JC. Originally from San Francisco, born and raised in the Mission District, Javier moved to Santa Rosa five years ago. He left behind a lifestyle focused on surviving and partying, without many goals or motivations. After a wakeup call, Javier realized he wanted to do something more passionate and meaningful. He tried classes at San Francisco City College, Skyline CC, yet he still did not feel motivated.

A friend who loved Sonoma County invited him to visit Santa Rosa, and while walking through SRJC campus Javier felt a strong connection with the place. Out here, everything felt beautiful; people were friendly, making genuine connections. “When I first came to campus it felt as if I was a puzzle, and it started to match together, and the pieces fit. The Junior College made me feel whole, as if this is where I needed to be, to pursue what I wanted to pursue,” recalled Javier.

Two weeks after his visit, he applied to SRJC. Following a passion, and with a past successful young career in competitive Latin ballroom dance, Javier took jazz, hip hop, ballet, and weight training classes. Yet his direction completely changed with his first Psychology class. Following in his psychologist grandmother’s steps, Javier added comparative religion, philosophy, and humanities classes. He also has worked for the Scholarships office for two years as a student employee and for Student Health Services as a PEERS health intern. Javier has witnessed first-hand how students’ lives can be changed, by receiving a scholarship in a time of need or getting support for health issues that have impacted or threatened their college success.

Javier recently graduated and transferred to Sonoma State University, to pursue his BA in Psychology. His dream is to work with youth in foster care or juvenile, helping them explore their passions and get confidence through dance therapy. Until then, he wants to better himself by traveling around the world to learn from different cultures and to get exposure to different ways of applying psychology and dance. Javier continues to work with SRJC students as a Health Services Assistant) through the Student Health Services department, supporting its health promotion and outreach programs.

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