Matthew Rivera

Trinity College

Matthew Rivera, a third-year student at Trinity College, focuses on community service that builds bridges from the campus to the city of Hartford, Connecticut. As Co-President of the Men of Color Alliance (MOCA), Matthew took part in the third annual "Welcome Back" tour that brought together 75 men of color to welcome Hartford students back to their first day of school. MOCA also joined members of the Union Baptist Church Breakfast Ministry to cook and serve meals to the community. Matthew works as an ambassador for Lime bike share, which enables city residents (including Trinity students) to rent a bicycle at one dollar per ride. His passion is the Dreams Empower organization, which operates the "Ice Cream for a Dream" truck that inspires young people to pursue their goals. During his time at Trinity, Matthew has discovered how his definition of leadership changed. "When I first took on a leadership role, I thought that getting work done was my top priority. But now I realize that a true leader cultivates a culture of change, and teaches others the importance of being involved."

Dr. Joanne Berger-Sweeney
Trinity College President and Professor of Neuroscience
Trinity College

Personal Statement

In addition to my role as the Co-President of the Men of Color Alliance (MOCA) at Trinity College, I serve as a board member for a non-profit organization called Dreams Empower ( Our mission is to encourage young members of our community to value dreams and make them real. My role is to raise funds and operate our "Ice Cream for a Dream" truck. The concept is simple: Tell us "What is your dream" in exchange for a free ice cream. During the past six years, we have inspired over 10,000 dreamers each summer. We believe in the importance of asking our youth about their dreams, and motivating them to go out and achieve them. Our motto, "Never Stop Dreaming," reminds people to dream big and endlessly, because no matter what you've accomplished, we want you to continue to strive for more. As our organization continues to grow, we hope to place an "Ice Cream for a Dream" truck in every city across the nation to assure that everyone lives the life of their dreams.

Matthew Rivera
Sociology: Class of 2020
written 2019

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