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Brentwood Senior David Rivera: Wrestler, Debater, Wants to Have an Impact in the World

Rivera has lived in Puerto Rico, New Jersey, Italy and Belgium with his family. They've been in Brentwood since his freshman year.

Brentwood High School senior David Rivera’s family moved around the globe as he was growing up. The constant through the moves has been his family, he said.

His mother, Michelle Hassemer, is in IT management and her job has moved his family to Puerto Rico, New Jersey, Italy and Belgium before landing them in Brentwood his freshman year.

“I’ve been exposed to really cool things, like being able to go to Rome on the weekend and meeting people that speak eight languages,” he said.

Of all the places he’s lived, he said Puerto Rico is the most like Brentwood. “Everyone there is family,” he said, “which is why I think my family and I are such a good fit here.”

He said football, wrestling and debate, things that keep him busy outside of school, have helped him settle into his surroundings this time around.

“One thing that really helped me was being part of the football team, and having a group of guys you see everyday and get to know,” he said. “Debate helped me organize my thoughts before I said them, and basically made me communicate better.”

In spite of all he fits in, he said he’s really not very well organized.

“I just kind of show up at stuff and hope I do it right, and most of the time I do pretty well,” he said. “Then I go home, take a nap, and do the next thing.”

Doing his best, and having high expectations are important to him.

“What reason do you have to not give it your all?” he said.

He qualified for the state wrestling meet his sophomore and junior years. Last year, as a junior, he medaled, taking fourth place. He said it’s the highest anyone from Brentwood has finished in 13 years.

This year his goal is the state championship. “There’s no reason that I can’t be the guy,” he said.

He’s interested in studying engineering in college, and is looking at Colorado School of Mines, Arizona State University and Stanford. He’d like a scholastic or athletic scholarship, but said wrestling scholarships are hard to come by. Still, he’d like to wrestle.

Arizona State flew him there to see the campus and gave him a tour on a golf cart. He met the dean. “That’s probably my number one choice now,” he said.

After college he said like to do something having to do with energy efficiency or sustainability, topics that will be relevant in the coming years.

“It’s going to be such a hotly debated issue,” he said. “The important part is not just the United States, but the whole globe. In 30 years, hopefully I’ll be able to be contributing something to the planet, using what God gave me to advance everybody else, to have an impact.”

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