A Furlough Exclusive with Karissa Rivera | @karissarivera
With parents from Cuba and Puerto Rico, this Florida girl took her diverse upbringing and did some amazing things. She has worked with world-famous brands such as Nike and now has dreams of being a partner in a large law firm and buying a home for her parents!
Her Grandparents’ Struggle to Come to America
Born in Hialeah, FL, on September 2nd, 1995, Karissa Rivera (@karissarivera) was raised in a humble home. She credits everything she has in her life mainly to her grandparent’s struggle to come to the US with the desire to create a better life for their family.
I feel like my parents’ story is more my story than MY story is so here it is… My mother came from Cuba and my father from Puerto Rico. They met in art school in Miami.
My mother stopped living her dream of becoming a fashion designer when she had me at 20 years old. My parents now own their own graphic design firm and work from home and have been married for over 23 years. I look up to them so much.
Karissa says that her being raised in a loving home that encouraged creativity and integrity has helped her become the person she is today.
A First-Generation Professional at a Big Law Firm
Although Karissa is a current resident of Miramar, she says she just tells people she lives in Ft. Lauderdale, “…because Miami people get mad when I say Miami”.
Today, Karissa works for a big law firm in Ft. Lauderdale and attends NSU Law. She is a first-generation professional and has aspirations to live a financially free life where she can support her parents and grandparents, and give them back all the support and opportunity they gave her.
Miami feels like her home city. She loves the diversity and culture of the city and the fact that she can eat, dance, or chill at all hours anywhere around Miami because everything closes late.
She doesn’t like that the city is littered heavily with plastic. Also, there is a materialistic facade Miami people try to flaunt. When tourists come to the city they can sometimes be violent and pollute heavily. She would love to see a change in these things in the future!
One day, Karissa sees herself living in Canada, because she supports their liberal politics and overall mentally healthier living style.
We asked her about some of the challenges she has faced up to this point.
Some struggles I have experienced are so minimal compared to the struggles so many people are going through. Yes, I’ve been discriminated against for being a young woman in the professional workplace. Yes, I have been sexualized and thought of as “less than” because of my looks.
For example, that I must not be smart, or I only do influencer gigs or that I’m an escort as opposed to a promotional or ambiance model…
In reality, Karissa is grateful to her city for providing her a strong Hispanic community that encourages diversity.
Nonetheless, I strive to shut these white old men up that created our laws and make a difference, if not politically then within my community, to make WOMEN and HISPANICS “THE NORM” as PROFESSIONALS. (sorry not sorry if anyone gets offended by this).
Work with Famous Brands
When it comes to other brands she would like to work with, the name isn’t very important to her. What really matters is working with brands that are high-quality, and not just looking for clout.
Rather than making their primary focus marketing, she would much rather stand behind a brand with an amazing product that everyone loves, no matter who promotes it.
What’s Next for @karissarivera?
Karissa has her sights set on becoming a partner at the firm she is currently working on. As mentioned before, she wants to give back to her family for raising her in such a supportive environment.
She would like to buy her parents a home one day!
Here’s a fun fact! Did you know she was born left-handed, but she’s right-handed now?
Her mother came from a Cuban household and had no clue being a lefty is normal! Every time Karissa tried using her left hand, her mother corrected it, which leads her to only do things right-handed today.
What’s even funnier… her younger brother is a lefty.
Karissa left us with some final words for her followers.
You get what you put into the Universe. I am a strong believer of “everything happens for a reason” and I truly live by the idea that if you are POSITIVE, positivity will come your way.
When you wake up in the morning all negative, cutting people off in traffic, giving your mom attitude, and being rude to your coworkers, the only thing coming your way is NEGATIVITY BECAUSE YOU GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT INTO THE UNIVERSE.