The first time I came to Chelsea I was looking for a place to buy culantro (or recao, as we call it in Puerto Rico). I stumbled into Market Basket and realized that there was an aisle just for adobo. I immediately felt more at home there than I had in any other city since I left Puerto Rico.
My wife Sarah and I soon set a goal of moving to Chelsea so that our future children could grow up in a community that reflects my Latinx background. Five years and many, many trips to Market Basket later, we were finally able to buy our first home, and we officially became Chelsea residents.
Growing up, my parents taught me to always help other people, and to love learning so that I could reach for the stars and be prepared to tackle any challenge the world threw at me. Because I did not go to a fancy school, my college admissions process was fraught with confusion and uncertainty, and yet I was the first out of all my cousins to apply to college outside of Puerto Rico. I was fortunate enough to receive enough financial aid to attend and graduate from the University of Michigan.
After finishing college in 2012, I stayed at Michigan for my Master’s in Higher Education and began working in Michigan’s admissions office, my first experience working in college access. In 2014, I moved to the Boston area to work at the Harvard Alumni Association (and met my wife Sarah a few days later!). Even though I was working in a university, I missed working in college access, so in 2015 I joined Harvard’s admissions office. Most recently, I moved to the Tufts admissions office in 2018.
I know what students need to get to college because it’s my job, but I understand the barriers that low-income and Latinx students face in this process because I lived it. I’m now ready to be a voice for all our students as we develop them into active members of our community in Chelsea and beyond.
My name is Roberto Jiménez Rivera and I’m running for Chelsea School Committee At-Large. I hope to have your support with your vote on November 5th.