Ivette Rivera Aponte
Ivette Rivera Aponte was born in Long Island, New York. She moved to her hometown of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico in her early teens where she pursued her high school and college education in her hometown. Her passion for math and the environment guided her to study Civil Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez where she graduated with Cum Laude honors. Since an early age she demonstrated a passion for music which she fulfilled by joining various choirs and musical ensembles. Among the highlights of her college experience, was the opportunity to participate with the campus Concert Choir at the 13th Annual International Choir Competition in Verona, Italy. There they represented Puerto Rico and won the gold medal, becoming the first Puerto Rican university choir to win an international choir competition. This merit made Ivette Rivera Aponte a recipient of a Resolution from the Puerto Rican House of Representatives for her outstanding work in Verona, Italy.
In 2001, Ivette witnessed her first Space Shuttle launch at the Kennedy Space Center while working as a summer undergraduate student intern and the experience changed her life. She knew that was where she wanted to work at. She began her career at the NASA Kennedy Space Center through the Cooperative Education (Co-Op) Program in 2003 as a Lead Design Engineer for diverse construction and rehabilitation of facilities & infrastructure projects. She later transitioned to the Engineering Organization where she executed her role as an Engineering Project Manager. She is currently managing engineering projects from planning through execution on ground support and aerospace flight systems. Ivette believes that learning does not end with a diploma, and as such she has participated in several diverse work assignments in her field. In 2013 she was chosen to serve as the Executive Management Intern for the Director of the Kennedy Space Center. And most recently in 2015 she was chosen for a one year assignment with the Office of the Chief Engineer in NASA Headquarters.
Her passion for spreading the NASA mission goes beyond her regular office duties. She has assisted the NASA Headquarters Public Affairs Officer at the NASA Press Site with Spanish media coverage during the Shuttle launches where she provided Spanish media support via telecommunication channels for over 14 launches since the July 2005 Return to Flight launch. Ivette desires to fulfill NASA’s vision of inspiring the next generation of explorers and is actively seeking leadership and skill enhancement opportunities within the agency. In 2010 she was awarded the Luminaries Award presented by the Hispanic Engineering National Achievement Committee (HENAAC) for her engineering achievements and contributions in the workforce. She successfully completed her Structural Engineering Master’s degree at the University of Central Florida in 2009 with Cum Laude honors. She enjoys singing, reading, fitness, being a life Coach, traveling, and plans to become a motivational speaker someday.