Gabriela Rivera, a third-year student at Brown University, is a student leader active in addressing issues of education. During the last three years, she has led her peers in providing tutoring to students of Hope High School in Providence RI. She is a strong advocate for educational equity and a relationship builder. Gaby is currently supporting her peers in the delivery of online tutoring during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide safe and free access to academic tutoring experience.
As a Colombian immigrant who has navigated the foreign and challenging public education system in the United States, I identify with the students of Hope High School and the broader Providence community. I strongly resonate with the struggles in surviving through it, but acknowledge the immense power that doing so holds. Being a Bonner Community Fellow, I work with Swearer Tutoring Enrichment in Math and Science (STEMS), a student-led group that provides support to high school students at Hope High School through tutoring within math and science subjects, as well as mentorship to students at Hope. STEMS’ goal is not to simply provide academic support, but to create meaningful relationships with Hope students and teachers and continually foster a community that bridges the greater Providence community with Brown students. In the grander scope, tutoring cannot solve any type of deficiency in our society. We strive for mentor-based relationships with students and seek growth within our community, rather than a band-aid remedy. By connecting with students at Hope, we simultaneously educate the Brown community on their privilege and how they can mobilize it long-term. Going forward, I plan to continue utilizing education as a tool for patient advocacy in medicine.