Who is this Kim Rivera? Read on to find out…
My passion for making a difference in the world was sparked in 1988 by one of my first professors and a whole bunch of non-traditional students at my hometown community college. My non-traditional classmates included the local pimp who once propositioned my mother to become one of his girls and now aspired to go to law school, the conjoined twins, Lori and Dori, (Lori a college student and Dori an aspiring country music singer), and more recovering addicts than I could ever hope to meet.
Fresh out of high school, my two years at community college were one long wake-up call to the injustices and the challenges others faced in the world. They marked the beginning of my quest to become part of the solution to injustices and not part of the problem.
My quest took me to complete my degree (BA) in Sociology (with a hefty helping of women’s studies courses thrown in the mix,) then to Mexico to teach English, then on to my work with migrant farmworker families through the Pennsylvania Migrant Education Program, and then to a very (and I do mean very) brief stint in law school.
In 2000, I began working as an administrative assistant at the same community college I graduated from in 1990. That’s where I remained, in that very same position, for 13 years through marriage, the birth of my daughter and my eventual divorce. While there, I dreamed of how I was going to change the world when I finally figured out how I was going to do it. I dreamed of the NGO I was going to start in Afghanistan to liberate women and young girls from oppression. I longed to have an impact, to make a difference, but year after year I remained at the college in the same position working for the same woman who asked me year after year what the hell I was still doing there when I was capable of doing so much more. Every year I told her the same story…”Yes, I know but I just don’t know what I want to do yet.” I took some paralegal classes, and started but did not finish two master’s degree programs. I also served as a gestational carrier to a young couple and gave birth to their baby in December 2010. If I couldn’t figure out how to change the world I told myself, I could at least do something ‘easy’ – like using my body for good and carrying a baby for someone else.
A few pieces came together in 2012 and I started moving forward again in my quest as I began to lay the groundwork to start a non-profit organization in my community that would use the nationally-recognized Girls on the Run program to teach life lessons to girls in grades 3 through 8. Finally I would be making a difference by starting an organization devoted to inspiring young girls to be joyful, healthy and confident. I would change the world by inspiring confident, future leaders! In April 2013, I left the community college to officially serve as the Executive Director of Girls on the Run of Berks County.
After several years, it showed up again…that familiar yearning and the realization that there was something else I needed to do. I wanted to have a more direct impact, to serve people profoundly and to inspire them to become the heroes of their own lives as I had learned to do. After working with my own coaches and mentors, my quest brought me to the world of transformational life coaching and professional speaking. In 2016, I launched my own company, SynDios LLC, to serve others through coaching and speaking.
I left Girls on the Run of Berks County in late 2016, took a few months off and quickly realized I was not yet ready to proceed full throttle with a new entrepreneurial endeavor as a coach and speaker. I have gained so many new insights and have had so many shifts in my understanding, I need the time to integrate them and determine how I can best serve others as a result of my own profound psycho-spiritual growth. This blog, Humanly Divine, is my attempt to do just that. Visit the Purpose page to learn more about the blog. Currently, I am not coaching clients but I still speak on various topics with interested groups.
While my quest to have a positive impact on our world has never changed, my understanding of how that happens has changed dramatically. I now know that changing the world happens first and foremost by raising my own level of awareness and consciousness. I now know that lasting, deep change is an inside job but only every. single. time. 🙂