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Giving Impact Stories

Nick Rivera

Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering, 2014

Nick Rivera (NPRE ’14) credits Illinois for giving him a strong foundation for success as a first-generation, Hispanic college student. The leadership skills he gained as a student have stuck with him as he entered the workforce.

Nick was actively involved in several student organizations on campus, including the Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers, the American Nuclear Society, Engineering Open House, and Engineering Council. He also received several meritorious honors on campus and was a member of the Undergraduate Scholars Program, the Morrill Engineering Program, and the Hoeft Technology and Management Minor.

One of Nick’s most noteworthy accomplishments was receiving an Engineering Visionary Scholarship. Although Nick paid for most of his education on his own through loans, savings and campus employment, he said the Engineering Visionary Scholarship gave him new opportunities.

“Receiving scholarships eliminated many of the financial obstacles and allowed me to focus more on academics and leadership roles,” he said.

Although he continues to pay toward his student loans, he has given back to Illinois. He doubled the impact of his gift by taking advantage of his company’s matching gift opportunity. Nick’s company matched his gift to Illinois dollar-for-dollar.

After benefiting from the Engineering Visionary Scholarship, Nick knows how important private support is, and hopes his story will inspire others to give and to look into their organization’s matching gift policy. “Every action you make contributes to the story of a student,” he said. “If you have the opportunity to visit the Illinois campus, take the time to hear those stories and further discover how your contributions are materialized.”