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Yankees Legend Mariano Rivera Joins CNR President to Present Scholarships

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The College of New Rochelle’s President, Judith Huntington, along with New York Yankees Legend Mariano Rivera and his wife, Clara Rivera, presented full scholarships to two deserving high school students from Yonkers today during a presentation ceremony.

Cheyenne Abreu, an honors graduate from Lincoln High School in Yonkers, and Luis Soto, an honor roll graduate from Roosevelt High School in Yonkers, are this year’s recipients of the Mariano and Clara Rivera Scholarship, bestowed on students who have achieved academic excellence while being actively involved in their communities. This is the first time that the College has presented two scholarships – to both a female student and a male student – since the school became a completely coeducational institution this semester.

The Mariano and Clara Rivera Scholarship, which was first created in 2014, is a four-year scholarship that covers tuition, as well as room and board for its recipients.

“I am proud to present Cheyenne and Luis with the Mariano and Clara Rivera Scholarship. Their academic excellence and service to others are the hallmark of an Ursuline education and personify our mission,” Huntington said. “We congratulate them both on their remarkable achievements and look forward to their progress at The College of New Rochelle throughout the next four years.”

Mariano Rivera added, “I have no doubt these two will make a difference in whatever they choose to do. My encouraging words to them are to be the best they can be. I believe they will impact the world in so many ways. My blessings and prayers are that they also continue to help the institution that is The College of New Rochelle.”

Abreu, the youngest of five siblings, was active in her high school’s student government and a member of the volleyball team. She is also a talented singer, who performed with several of the school’s music groups and sang the national anthem at her graduation ceremony. Abreu also held a part-time job while in high school. However, as the time to commit to a college approached, she began to send letters requesting a year’s deferment. 

“I was considering taking a year off from school to work and save money because I knew college was a big financial burden on my family,” she said. “When I found out about the Rivera scholarship, my mother said, ‘This is a blessing from God. You have to go there!’”

Abreu will major in education and psychology and is focused on a career as a lobbyist. “I want to lobby on behalf of hospitals and medical research,” she said. “Their work is something that touches me deeply.” She plans to participate in the College’s music ensembles.

Soto is the oldest of four children and the first in his family to attend college. Born on a farm in the south of Mexico, he moved to the United States when he was three years old. In order to help with family expenses, he works a part-time job at a gas station. Math has always been an area of academic strength for him, and he plans to major in mathematics.

Soto anticipates exciting new experiences at The College of New Rochelle. “I’m looking forward to living on campus and making new friends here,” he said. “I’m very grateful to the College and the Riveras for this opportunity.”

For more information about The College of New Rochelle, call (914) 654-5000 or visit