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Meet Maria Rivera, NexGen Fellow interning with Supreme Staffing.

Growing and Flourishing as a NexGen Fellow

This summer, our sister campaigns Give901 and Choose901 Alumni have teamed up to give college students the NexGen summer fellowship experience! Through the NexGen program, five Choose901 Alumni (aka Give901 program grads) are connecting with local businesses for summer internships—complete with weekly professional development and networking opportunities.

The goal of NexGen is create opportunity for already-talented students by paving a way for networking at companies like Supreme Staffing, Youth Villages, & City Leadership. Speaking of networking… we have a few young Memphians we’d like you to meet. 

Meet Maria:

student, NexGen participant, & Future city-changer

Hi everyone! My name is Maria Rivera. I am a 21 year old student at Christian Brothers University studying psychology. My current career goals include working in human resources for the next few years, and eventually moving onto working with young kids in a school or counseling setting. This summer, I am participating as a NexGen fellow at Supreme Staffing, which is a recruiting company located in Memphis, and currently expanding to states such as Nevada, Texas, Florida, Mississippi, Ohio, and New Jersey to name a few. 


A NexGen fellow in a black suit posing for a photo.

What Choose 901 Partner School did you go to?

I attended Collegiate School of Memphis. As demanding and rigorous as it was, I’m very thankful to have graduated from a school that really prioritizes education and pushes its students to succeed in college.


A NexGen fellow enjoys a plate of chicken, fries, and beans.
Photos: Los Picosos

 It’s going to be hard to not be biased here, but my favorite place to eat in Memphis has to be my parents’ restaurant, Los Picosos. I grew up eating their food. There’s nothing else that makes me feel better when I’m sick, or feel even better when I’m already happy than my parents’ cooking. Mexican cuisine will always come first, but if I had to pick a close second it would be my friend’s cooking, Nick. He is half Vietnamese and half Cambodian, and cooks for his friends. To me, food is the key to the soul, so I like being able to enjoy the foods that I love.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about my family, friends, and my own happiness. As I get older, I’m beginning to realize just how many things go wrong every day. Life keeps giving me challenges bigger than the next, but I found that as long as the people I love are around me, life is worth living. 


I’d say the three people who inspire me the most, or give me a reason to get up every morning, would be my dad, mom, and older sister. These three people have shown me that even though the odds are stacked against you, you still have to make the effort to make it through. Not only have they given me all the love, support, and resources to be where I am today, but despite the hardships of life they still smile and are grateful for everything they have.

A NexGen fellow sitting in an adirondack chair with a dog.

What do you like about your fellowshiP?

I think my favorite part of my fellowship so far is the warm and welcoming atmosphere. Everyone is friendly and jokes around with one another. Everyone is always ready to lend a hand if someone is falling behind on their work. I think a big reason for this is because of how Mr. Sanchez treats his employees. He throws birthday parties and checks up individually on his employees when he comes into the office. I have really loved going in each morning to learn something new, and know that everyone is working together to complete the work laid out for the day. 

What advice do you have for the next group of Nexgen fellows?

I would say be open. There are plenty of situations you’ll be placed in that you may have never experienced, but you have to keep a positive attitude and willingness to learn. Whatever you put out into the world comes back, so if all you are putting out is negativity and defeat, that’s all you will receive in return. Choose901 has some of the best groups of people I have met. They’re welcoming and selfless energy has never wavered or faded, so please trust that they want to help you grow into the best version of yourself. Being scared or uncomfortable is not a bad thing, it’s just giving your character a chance for it to grow and flourish.


Supreme Staffing is just one of the many Memphis businesses that is investing in the future of our city through NexGen students—aka the future of Memphis’ workforce, leadership, and potential. 

Want to learn more or get involved?

Whether you’re a studnet looking ahead for next summer’s internship, a business interested in partnering with NexGen, or just a regular old Memphian passionate about possibilities—we’re excited you’re excited!

Contact for more information. 

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