The Renegade Rip

Renegade Struggles: Beatriz Rivas

We all have a struggle, and every person has a different story. Each issue, The Rip will feature a student overcoming certain struggles to gain an education and better their life.

Sam Moreno

Sam Moreno

Sam Moreno, Reporter

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Meet Beatriz Rivas, a 24-year-old student at Bakersfield College. Her current major is business administration, and she is better known as just “B.”

She has been attending BC on and off for five years, and she hopes to graduate and build a better life for her and her mother. Her struggle is staying focused and balancing her priorities. She attends classes two times a week, while working two jobs and taking care of her ill mother.

In 2010, Rivas’s mother Ana was diagnosed with breast cancer. At only the age of 17, Rivas was forced to start “adulating.”

“I was very young and the bills had to be paid, so I worked and worked. My mom only had me,” she said. Rivas chose to work to ensure there would be a meal on the dinner table every day, sometimes abandoning the idea of seeking a higher education. On multiple occasions, she wanted to give up

on her goals and her dreams.

There was something else she had to face, a secret she had kept hidden from her mom for a long time. Rivas was openly lesbian to all her friends, but not to her mom. This caused a strain in their personal relationship.

Rivas could not open up to her mom or vent about what was going on in her personal life. She did not keep this secret because she was ashamed of who she was, but because she did not want to disappoint her mom who has been a Catholic her entire life.

Not being able to share something so close to her heart “ruined” her relationship with her mom. Rivas recalled not having an intimate conversation with her mom for years. With the stress of work, school, her mother’s illness, and her own personal struggles, she was drained.

At this point, Rivas started focusing all her energy and attention onto situations that were not benefiting her future. She withdrew from classes and started slacking at work. Attending classes was

at the bottom of her list and homework was non-existent in her daily activities. She began to skip semesters of school and her graduation date kept getting pushed back. Her wakeup call was when she was fired from one of her jobs.

However, Rivas did not let her struggle define her or her future. She overcame her struggle and set her priorities straight. She aims to become a successful entrepreneur one day. She wants to open up her own businesses and make sure her mom doesn’t have to lift a finger for the rest of her life. She says about her mom, “She is the woman who raised me, she provided for me and it’s my turn to do that for her.”

Rivas has since come out to her mom and enrolled for the Spring 2017 semester at BC, her first time back since 2015. She has found a stable job and focused on reaching her goals. “I will never let anything hold me back from moving forward in my life,” she said. “I have to reach my goals for my mom and most importantly for me.”

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Renegade Struggles: Beatriz Rivas