Alumna Spotlight: Vanessa Rivera

As we countdown to our 15th Anniversary, NeW is privileged to share the stories of some of our alumna. At NeW, we believe in supporting women in college, but also beyond as they head into the workplace. Learn where some of our alumna are today and how NeW impacted their college experience.

Meet Vanessa Rivera, an alumna from Florida Gulf Coast University.

I stumbled upon NeW at CPAC 2016. It was the year of the presidential election and it was my first year at CPAC. I had already had a couple of instances on campus where students and professors had hurled insults at me for my conservative beliefs or where I didn’t feel like my voice would even be allowed to speak. I saw the bright pink booth in a sea of red white and blue and I knew that I had found my crowd.

Vanessa with her fellow executive board members of NeW at Florida Gulf Coast University.

After talking to the women at the booth and some of my peers at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), we decided that NeW would be a wonderful organization to bring to our campus. We believe if we were feeling alone then there had to be others on campus who felt the same way. NeW impacted my college experience because it gave me a few things that really helped me become the woman I am today – a network, leadership, and professional skills that all translated in major ways once I graduated from college.

Being a part of NeW provided a space for an intellectually diverse conversation on campus that hadn’t been there before. My involvement helped me identify and nurture my own leadership skills as well as encourage other women in their leadership abilities. NeW gave all of us an opportunity to grow as leaders on campus and in our community.

Vanessa with several of the book contributors at the CPAC book signing in February 2019.

If it weren’t for NeW I would not have had the confidence to write the things I have written, be involved in the book She’s Conservative: Stories of Trials and Triumphs on America’s College Campuses, or even feel like I could be an effective leader on campus while managing classes, a full time job, and an internship.

It is said that the people and things you surround yourself with impact who you develop into and I am forever grateful that I had the community of NeW during such formative years. I am blessed to continue to feel their support and now have the opportunity to help give that to other female leaders finding their voice on campus today.

Want to share your story for the chance to be featured? Share your NeW story today!

Learn more about NeW and our annual Anniversary Celebration.



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