Luis Rivera

Beauty – Miami, FL

Luis Rivera, 31 years old, born and raised in the island of Puerto Rico. At age of 4, I was diagnosed with Crohns disease and unfortunately I spent most of my childhood and teenager years in and out of the hospital. I was told by doctors that I would always have this disability and that most likely I wasn't going to have a "normal" life. Finishing school or college may not be reached as I was bound to be in and out of the hospital. In contrast, that lit a fire inside of me and I was determined to be unstoppable and to fight. I made it my point to turn the "NO" into a "YES".  If I had already overcome coming from a household where domestic violence, drugs and physical abuse was present, I could overcome this disease. This inevitable would not only make me stronger as I fight to have a normal life but it would also make me appreciate life more and the people that surround me. I was determined to take advantage of all the opportunities that life gave me. At 16 I left my home and began a career in the beauty industry, I simultaneously was attending a private high school where I worked towards my diploma. I worked at L'Oreal in Puerto Rico, a well recognized salon in the Ocean Park neighborhood of Condado. I had great opportunities to work for Magazines such as Vanidades, Caras de Imagen,  and Revista de Bodas. I had the opportunity to work for TV shows and concerts for International singer Yolandita Monge. I realized that at this point I was doing it for the money and I didn't see it as a career. I moved to Florida to attend USF and obtain my degree in Biomedical Science and double minor in Psychology and Education. In the fall 2002, I fractured my hip and was told that I may not be able to never going to able to perform a job that required me to be on my feet for a long periods of time. However, I knew the future held another destiny. I continued my college years and also came to the realization that something was missing in me and the passion that I had to become a Gynecologist OB prior diminished. I was lost and didn't know what I was doing or going to do. In 2008,  I moved to Orlando not knowing how my life would unfold. I enrolled at the Paul Mitchell beauty school in June and by October I already had an offer from Gulio Veglio to join their team at Lunatic Fringe. It was an immediate yes and I had an incredible person 9 1/2 months of learning and applying my skills. I was part of the design team and never turned down a free haircut for any homeless individuals, children from the miracle network, President of the Student Council, Go green team and others. I was blessed to be part of the Family of Lunatic Fringe with the structure and culture of Paul Mitchell. While I was in Lunatic Fringe, Wanda Soto and Jill Rudisk instructed classes as member of the National Educators. Being part of this ignited a spark and in my heart, I wanted to be one of the educators. This would grant me the opportunity to help others in their professional growth. I built up my clientele, my reputation and eventually opened up my own salon after 3 years. I was approached to finally go thru auditions for National Educator for Paul Mitchell which was what i was wanting for the last 3 years of my career. On the other hand, I was lost and I was looking to fill up that emptiness within me in the wrong places, wrong people, alcohol, and drugs. After that, a series of unfortunate events led me to remind that i was a survivor and that my purpose in this life was bigger and that change was coming. I been an International Educator for John Paul Mitchell System now for almost 5 years and this experience has changed my life forever. Have taken me to places I've never thought I would be and has allowed me to help others in their Journey, touch many life but most important to share my story and inspired many other that everything its possible if you put you mind, heart and thrive to it. ...more