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Student Profiles

Karime Rivera, Class of 2026
Karime Rivera

Bioengineering Major, Class of 2026

Current bioengineering student, Karime Rivera, reaches for her dreams while encouraging fellow Latina/o/x students to pursue STEM degrees and careers.

On most days, you can count on Karime Rivera, Class of 2026, to make a comfortable spot in the Sobrato Campus for Discover and Innovation (SCDI) in between and after her classes. It’s where she goes to study, grab a bite to eat, visit with friends, and to be inspired. Given Karime’s major in bioengineering, how can she not be? This integrated center for transformational science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education allows talented students, like Karime, to collaborate, connect, and create in the heart of the innovative area in which we are a part.

SCDI was just one of many reasons why Karime is so happy to be a Bronco. She had always dreamed about being the first in her family to attend college. During her last year in high school, Karime had the chance, thanks to the Breakthrough Silicon Valley Program, to visit Santa Clara, take summer classes, and hear from alumni and students about their experience here. But she was local, planning on living at home, and worried about not fitting in. However; after hearing the accolades about SCU and spending time on our beautiful campus, she knew this was where she wanted to be. Now all she had to do was hope for financial assistance—and thanks to generous donors like you and the Santa Clara Fund, she was able to not only attend, but thrive!

All the fears Karime might have had at the beginning of the school year, have since fallen to the wayside. She says, “Everyone is so welcoming: the professors, the staff, the entire community.” Karime also credits being part of the Lead Scholars Program for meeting her closest friends. She believes that the program has been an integral part in acclimating to Santa Clara stating, “It provides resources, connects you with other people, and shows you how to make a strong foundation as a student.”

When asked why Karime chose bioengineering, she suggests that it really chose her. As a young girl, she acted as the intermediate between doctors and her parents. She had to learn about medical terms to translate them back to Spanish and that’s where the interest in the medical and bioengineering fields first grew. Karime looks upon her future and says, “I see myself working in the area of gene editing and artificial organs in hopes of connecting that research with a cure for cancer.” If that goal wasn’t admirable enough, Karime is also hoping to encourage other Latina/o/x students to consider majors and careers in STEM. She states, “I think it's very important to have someone that looks like you represented in fields like engineering and medicine, especially as a woman of color.” Students like Karime are paving the way to building a STEM workforce that can help better the lives of people from all backgrounds.

For all the opportunities she received, Karime expresses immense gratitude to the benefactors who have opened doors for her. She says, “I'm here because of them.” And adds, “I know I can't speak for everyone, but I'm sure everyone that is being supported by generous donors would think the same thing.”

-Carrie Jensen