Student of the Year – Glen Rivera, Meat Services

The Bridgerland Technical College Student of the Year is Glen Rivera, a student in the Meat Services program.

Glen grew up in the beautiful state of California and joined the military when he was 18 years old. He loved being in the military and especially enjoyed the camaraderie and friendship he developed with other soldiers.

After 10 years of dedicated service, Glen was medically retired from the military. He desperately hoped to put in 20 years, but was eventually told that he couldn’t stay in the military due to his health problems.

Outside of the military, Glen became withdrawn and depressed. He felt very unhappy with the direction that his life was headed. Glen says, “Being medically discharged kind of hit hard on my self esteem. It put a stop to everything I wanted to accomplish in the military.”

As Glen continued to struggle, his wife suggested that it might help his depression and health problems if he had something to look forward to every day.

Glen took that advice to heart and started looking into Bridgerland Technical College because of the hands-on work experience. Glen states that “it is easier for me to stay focused in school with the hands-on work experience. I have a hard time retaining short-term information, so doing the same thing every day helped that information become muscle memory. I didn’t see this kind of learning opportunity in other schools, so I knew right away this was the path for me.”

Although Glen loves the Meat Services program, there are still days when it’s a struggle get out of bed. It’s especially difficult if he thinks too much about working in the freezing cold Meat Services lab. Glen states that “even though getting to school can be difficult, I do it because I know at the end of the course, I am going to have a skill no one else has. At the end of the course, I will become more valuable in the workforce.”

Glen continues, “When I was in the military, I had these feelings of family and belonging. Once I was discharged, I lost that feeling I had gotten used to having. When I got started with Bridgerland Technical College and got to know the people in my programs, I got that feeling back. My instructors were always willing to help me, and I think they started to notice when I was struggling. When I was having a hard time in school, they would come to me and ask questions. They always wanted to know about my problems and how they could make things easier for me. Once I accepted their help, I was able to catch up and everything got better. I was able to learn more, and I felt more comfortable while I was at school.”

Scott Elliott, one of Glen’s instructors in the Meat Services program, had some comments about his experience with Glen. He stated, “Having someone with Glen’s trials in our class actually helped educate Jason and me in being able to move forward in our program.”

The Department Head for Meat Services, Jason Rindlisbacher, also had a few things to say about this successful student. “Just to see Glen’s confidence after his time in the Meat Services program was really neat,” Jason said. “We became really good friends with him during the time he spent there. As he learned and progressed, he kind of took charge and was willing to help and work with the other students. He was very good at being a leader.”

Glen has plans to open a food truck, specializing in cutting and preparing specialty meats. Glen states, “When you are cutting meat, you don’t have to worry about anything else; it’s therapeutic. You focus on that cut, making sure you cut it perfectly. I would love to have meat cutting as part of my future career.” He believes Bridgerland is more than just a College; as Glen says, “Bridgerland became my community and gave me career training, but more importantly, Bridgerland made me feel at home.”

Glen’s is a moving story of success. BTECH is proud of his accomplishments and is confident he will represent Bridgerland Technical College well for the 2019-2020 school year! Congratulations Glen!