Student Spotlight
Noah Rivers
Noah Rivers completed his Physical Education and Exercise Science degree last week. He's transferring to Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC where he will pursue a degree in Team Sports Management.

The welcoming environment at Onondaga Community College helped Noah Rivers find his passion and figure out what's next. "OCC was incredible. Everyone wanted to see you hit your goals and succeed. The whole community on campus was very helpful."

Rivers graduated from Henninger High School in 2014, tried OCC for a semester, then decided to leave school. A family member urged him to pursue a career in law enforcement, so he spent the next several years doing security work at a hospital, government offices, and the Syracuse Airport. He also applied for numerous law enforcement positions and took related exams.

Eventually Rivers decided he wanted to go in another direction and, as Covid was winding down, enrolled at OCC again. He chose the Physical Education & Exercise Science degree program. "I always wanted to coach or be involved with sports management. I thought this would be a good place to start."

Rivers enjoyed attending OCC Soccer and Basketball games, and one day initiated a conversation with Director of Athletics Mike Borsz. It led to Rivers shadowing Borsz at Lazers athletics events. "Noah was curious and asked a lot of really insightful questions. He's a charismatic, easy going, people-person. He's someone who I could easily see working in athletics administration," said Borsz. "I have dreams of being in that position. Having the opportunity to shadow the Athletic Director and see how things work was very valuable," said Rivers.

While excelling in his coursework, Rivers was also active on campus as a member of the Unity Day Committee, Extraordinary Men of Distinction, and the Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belonging Council. Home base for the groups was the Meg O'Connell Center for Social Justice and Community Impact in Coulter Hall. "At first I just used the office to study and be with people who are on the same path and want to uplift each other. There was a lot of honesty and holding yourself accountable. I started coming back more and more. The honesty in the office was very important."

Last week Rivers completed his OCC degree. He'll be continuing his education at Johnson C. Smith University, a Historically Black College & University in Charlotte, North Carolina which has a new transfer agreement with OCC. He plans to major in Team Sports Management. "Going far away from home will be an experience for me and I need that. I like meeting people. It will be a good journey for me."

Onondaga Community College
Henninger High School
Syracuse City School District