Rivera will receive a partial scholarship and is assured summer employment and co-op opportunities at M&T Bank throughout her four years at RIT. She will also be linked with M&T staff members through a mentoring program.
A Rochester resident, Rivera graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School in the top 10 percent of her class. For several years, she participated in the Xerox School-to-Work Partnership Program. Due to her excellent performance, she was chosen to discuss her work experience as part a panel for Hillary Clintonís Listening Tour. She also took part in Virtual Enterprise, a program that teaches students how to run a business, and was elected to represent Rochester at an international trade show in Salzburg, Austria.
"Berta is a bright, motivated and personable young woman," says Marty Burris, director of marketing for undergraduate programs at RITís College of Business. "She is a great addition to our fall freshmen class and her wide-ranging experience makes her a natural selection as this yearís RIT/M&T Urban Scholar. I canít wait to see where she goes from here."
The M&T Urban Scholar Program is made possible by a $50,000 gift from the bank. The initiative is designed to help some local students, like Rivera, acquire a solid educational foundation while gaining the practical experience needed to succeed in the workplace and become advocates for their community.
Scholars are selected on an annual basis. Candidates must be freshman level students studying business and come from the Rochester or Buffalo area. Representatives from both the College of Business and M&T Bank intend this program to serve as a model for other businesses and organizations. The goal is to create a consortium of complimentary partners who support educational opportunities in the region.