By Claudia Zequeira
Carlos Rivera, delivery courier, spends his days delivering and shipping parcels and other items, a role he describes as “crucially discreet.”
Over the years, Carlos has assisted delivering mail and items for graduation. He has also picked up books donated by law offices to grow and enhance Valencia’s legal library. And, he also made sure that items for Taste of Learning — a wine and food fundraising event that raises funds for student scholarships — were delivered quickly and safely, among other tasks.
But it’s his recent effort to deliver laptops to students as a result of COVID-19 that he’s most proud of.
“Our work is usually supporting faculty and staff in their role to help the students, but this more direct involvement has been satisfying to my coworkers and myself,” said Carlos. “In the future, I do not know what face-to-face will mean with the current standing of things in our nation and the world abroad, but I know that Valencia will continue to show a new and authentic way of showing that we support our students and coworkers in all endeavors.”
A culture of helping others is something that meshes well with his own beliefs. Besides loving working at Valencia because of “all the interesting people you get to meet,” Carlos feels this is a place where it’s possible to do good deeds on a frequent basis.
“I get to pay forward good work, he said. “Holding the door for someone, directing a lost student in the right direction or helping visitors to appropriate parking areas or buildings. I can share a bit of generosity in hopes that someone else’s day may go better than it was. That is good enough for me.”
Carlos also said he draws inspiration from being able to make “an authentic difference” in the lives of those he interacts with.
“In today’s life, authenticity of self has diminishing returns; we hide behind profiles and social media, like a mask. I find that living boldly, we cannot cut corners with being ourselves wherever we are,” said Carlos. “When I tell someone to have a great day, I look them in the eye and show that they have my attention and that I am reciprocating that same attention back to them.”
His, supervisor, Larry Fox, manager, courier services, said Carlos embraces Valencia’s values and mission.
“He always realizes the bigger goal of helping make our student experience a success,” said Larry. “He is a strong, steady team member, and we appreciate his contributions to help make our Courier Services department a success.”
Carlos, who has worked at Valencia since 2009, believes the College stands for “hope,” and he says he’s living proof of it.
“That probably sounds cliché but I believe it, and you read it in the stories of the Distinguished Graduates. You see it in the articles in The Juice and Campus Concentrate,” he said.
He added he was able to complete his Associate in Arts degree in 2013 while working at Valencia and show his son, who he spent years raising prior to rejoining the workforce, that “with dedication and purpose we can rise to the occasion and transform ourselves to greater things.”
Prior to joining Valencia, Carlos managed an ophthalmic lab for Vision Works and worked as a lead laboratory technician.
In his free time, Carlos loves to play video games and work on modifying cars. He also donates his hair to Maggie’s Wigs4Kids, a nonprofit organization that makes wigs for children with cancer and other medical conditions.
“A small act can go a long way for a stranger,” he said.
Know of someone who embodies one of Valencia’s Values (learning, people, diversity, access or integrity), who has been an employee for one year or more? Send the colleague’s name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu. He or she might be one of our featured colleagues, subject to supervisor’s approval.