My name is Ron (Ronnie) Rivera Jr. I was born in Chicago, IL and raised by two proud, Puerto Rican parents. My “latinidad” means everything to me, our relationship has shaped a lot of the trajectory in my life. My Latino identity informs my social engagements, my queerness, and my practice as a school social worker.
As a child, it meant eating arroz con “habichuelas” weekly, hearing salsa music every weekend, while honoring my family through hard work, and sometimes not feeling “Latin” enough because of my lack of Spanish-due to my parents’ assimilation.
As an adult, my “latinidad” meant being the first out of my family to go to college, reclaiming Spanish, and understanding the importance of representation in my professional career.
Hoy (today), I am proud to be BORICUA. I continue to bring my Puerto Rican Pride to all spaces; alongside the many identities I hold dear to me. The students deserve and need to see themselves (through me) at school. This is one of the many reasons why I do this work.
WEPA – (A word of jubilation that is uttered by mainly Hispanics, especially within the Puerto Rican community. It normally is yelled at high volumes in a nasal manner, especially after something that is celebrated. "Wepa" normally means, "All right! Good job! Congratulations! Yeah!")