testimonials

“His words are powerful, and his story empowers you to embrace yourself.”– Simaza, student at William Paterson University

“Mark had attended Career Day at my school in Elizabeth, NJ to talk with 7th & 8th graders about never giving up in life and always following your dreams. I could not have been happier with Mark’s presentation and all the positive feedback from faculty and most importantly from the students. We absolutely loved everything he had shared with the group and will be asking him back for the following school year. Thank you Mark for your amazing words and keep shinning!”– Stacey McCann, schoolteacher at Benjamin Franklin School 13

“Mark created a wonderful piece entitled ‘The Unmasking’ on my dancers. It was absolutely stunning and very well received by the entire audience at our performance!”– Andrea Kramer, Artistic Director/Founder of Ballet Forte at Wings Conservatory

“Mark was a very passionate and intelligent speaker. I found myself engaged during his entire workshop on intersectionality and made me reanalyze some of my perspectives on my own intersectional identity.”– Alberto, student at San Francisco State University

“Mark’s workshop was educational, captivating, inspiring, and full of laughter. What students really appreciated about Mark was his vulnerability, humility, and honesty. Students could connect to Mark’s background in some way, whether that be through his story or future aspirations.”– Paul Renolis, Area Coordinator at San Francisco State University

“Mark is a wonderful role model to my students. He has come to my students to speak to them about his life experiences and also gave sage advice to students on how to navigate themselves personally and professionally. They were so positively impacted by Mark, many have chosen to journal this experience in writing. It may sound cliché’ to some, but I will not be surprised if one day he is discovered and interviewed by Oprah to inspire many others.”– Michele Ann Murphy, professor at William Paterson University

“I heard Mark speak at the Hispanic-Black Gay Coalition’s Youth Empowerment Conference. In his workshop, ‘Embracing Yourself, Embracing Your Potential’ , Mark shared his struggles with self-esteem and how he coped with his past. It was so powerful it made me strive to better myself and not let anyone bring me down. Since then I’ve took some of his advice, and sought therapy and started dressing up to be more confident. It has helped me so much and I now wake up everyday feeling great.” – Trinere, student at Massachusetts College of Art and Design

“Mark’s story is the archetype of empowering. The decision to bring him and his dance company to NYU’s campus was a no brainer. He is extremely professional and manages to keep the audience laughing at the same time.” – Cornell F. Woodson, Program Administrator at New York University

“Mark spoke on the challenges that the LGBT community faces and what we as a society can do to help. Mark Rivera speaks the truth and has opened up my eyes to issues that I wasn’t aware of. He is determined and willing to speak on topics others are scared to talk about.” – Vanessa, student at William Paterson University  

“Mark’s presentations are always inspiring and thought-provoking. He has an ability to turn the most difficult questions into answers that are not only educational, but also sincere and profound. He engages his audience and leaves them moved and thinking in ways they had never thought before. It was almost like I could actually see people’s minds open, which is so necessary in the areas of domestic violence and LGBTQ issues.”– Theresa A. Bivaletz, MSW, LSW, Disaster Response Manager at NJ Coalition for Battered Women

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