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Success Story

#LatinaHerStory – Tales Of Modern Leaders

By December 21, 2021No Comments
Lizzy Rivera
Advocate- Parent Network of WNY
I don’t like the world disability. No one asked but still. I am a person with different abilities and as a child they were undiagnosed. That fact impacted my learning journey- immensely. Some of siblings have different abilities (the term I prefer) and face varying health challenges, mine being the absolute least.  My family is a family of overcomers, but my learning journey was not an easy one.
As a child I struggled to learn on paper, I could hear anything you said, but if you gave it to me on paper, you lost me. I remember feeling bright, but not being able to transfer that intelligence to paper. I will never forget what it feels like to sit in a class of your peers and dread being called on. It’s terrifying, and I lived that terror every day in elementary school. It gives you shivers all the way to your boots. Kids like me still have that feeling when they walk into the classroom sometimes, the pit at the bottom of their stomach. And lately being a kid – is hard enough.
Some adults like Lizzy Rivera get it-. Lizzy is an advocate for families whose members have different abilities. She works as a part of the Parent Network of WNY team. The human embodiment of compassion. She exists in a state of empathy and her journey and path reflect a determination to succeed that is infinite. When I met her, I felt so relieved, so grateful, that she had chosen to fight for children in our community. She leads a path she walked, being a mother, whose children were educated in public schools.
 She herself, born in Puerto Rico, educated across oceans her sense of feminism rooted in her mothers lessons. She committed herself to help improve systems and is a committed lifelong learner (always a sign of intelligence in my opinion). She’s currently enrolled in a School Psychology program to obtain initial certification, after graduating Summa Cum Laude from SUNY Empire State College with a B.A. in Psychology – as a full time mom.
As a people Latinos are resilient and self-reliant. Sometimes those resiliencies lead us to overlook the times we need help or be hesitant to ask for it. Lizzy’s quote:
“A person also needs intrinsic or extrinsic motivation to work towards those goals. This is where the community comes into play to remove systematic barriers of ableism, sexism, colorism, and xenophobia that discourage individuals from creating goals and prevents them from seeing themselves in positions that they can achieve to reach their full potential.”
 Lizzy Rivera is an advocate fighting ableism and if you read her interview, you will learn how and why.
Ableism is defined as discrimination in favor of able-bodied people
According to the Dept. of Education, in 2018- 32% of the children diagnosed with a disability in New York State identified as Hispanic and or Latino.
Click here to view Lizzy’s interview
#Latinaherstory can be found in the Buffalo Latino Village, Panorama Hispano News, and La Ultima Hora, Latino Newspapers circulated throughout WNY.