New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper


Manuel Rivas, New Britain High School Salutatorian


Plans to Attend CCSU

Manuel Rivas has been named salutatorian of the New Britain High School Class of 2018. After earning the second highest title in the class, Rivas plans to attend Central Connecticut State University this fall as a Biology major.

After narrowing his choice of university down to CCSU and University of Connecticut, Rivas chose CCSU because of the vast amount of opportunities offered that will be extremely beneficial to his future prospects, which includes schooling to become a Physician’s Assistant. Rivas said this career is one in which he hopes he can change the world.

This theme is prevalent in his commencement speech as he plans to inspire his peers with the knowledge that they too can change the world.

“Everyone in the country as a whole has the power. We are going through a cultural revolution. If we put our minds to it, we have power to change anything and everything. It is important for my fellow graduates to know the impact they can have on the world. Graduation is the first example that through dedication, we can achieve anything.”

Rivas says that because of his difficult adjustment to American culture after moving to Connecticut from Nicaragua at the age of five, he learned that he could achieve anything he sets his mind to. Rivas believes his studies at the dual-language DiLoreto Elementary School, and the diverse population in New Britain, has allowed him a unique learning experience and lifestyle.

“New Britain has helped me shape as a person. New Britain is a very diverse city so it made it easy for a person that is not used to this type of culture to integrate and feel included and welcome. There are so many different types of cultures and languages in this city. It is a melting pot. It has allowed me to not only assimilate, but keep my roots as well.”

New Britain High School Acting Principal Kerri-Lynn Major speaks highly of Rivas and his work ethic, with special regards to his impressive adjustment to American culture at such a young age.

“Manuel has been a staple of academic achievement here at NBHS. All his teachers speak so highly about him and his commitment to his work. His dedication to his academic performance is unmatched, and an inspiration to many of his classmates. I have no doubt he will achieve great things in his future.”

Superintendent Nancy Sarra says Rivas is a perfect example of someone who has worked hard to overcome numerous obstacles throughout his life thus far.

“As a young boy who migrated to New Britain at such a young age, Manuel has demonstrated the ability to overcome all odds. He has worked to integrate himself into the school community and proved that hard work pays off. On behalf of the entire district and New Britain community, I congratulate Manuel and wish him the best of luck.”