Mekita Rivas: Ready to write a new chapter

“So…what are you?”

When people meet Mekita Rivas, this question inevitably sneaks its way into the conversation.

“I typically want to respond with my trademark sassy sarcasm and say something to the effect of, ‘Well, I’m a person,’” Rivas said.

The senior journalism and English major stops herself, though, and feeds the answer she knows the individual is looking for.

“My father is from the Mexican border town of Nuevo Laredo,” she said. “My mother is from Cebu, a province in the Philippines consisting of more than 160 islands.”

And Rivas is their only child, a first-generation American.

Rivas balances two jobs and a full academic schedule. She is an online news and editorial assistant at University Communications. She is also the corporate communications intern at Olsson Associates, a regional engineering firm.

“I definitely like to stay busy,” she said. “When I have free time, ironically enough, I get overwhelmed.”

Rivas is slated to graduate this May, on Cinco de Mayo, which also happens to be her father’s 60th birthday.

“It’s going to be a very meaningful day,” she said. “I think my father will feel his life coming full circle when he sees me walk across that stage.”

Beyond the fifth of May, Rivas hopes to be hired  full-time at Olsson Associates and transfer to one of the firm’s out-of-state offices. Her eyes are set on a warmer climate, like Phoenix, Ariz.

“I’ve lived in Lincoln all my life so I’m ready for a fresh environment,” she said. “If I can go somewhere new, still work for a company I love and have a couple of friends along for the ride, I’m set.”