Angie Rivera-Benavides was raised in Miami, Florida surrounded by the urban south-Florida city. When she entered high school and joined an agriculture class and the FFA, Angie’s interest in agricultural education was sparked. She’s always had an interest in education, but thanks to her advisor Yleana Escobar at Felix Varela High School, she started participating more and more and found a passion for teaching through working with other students and teaching them about various projects, like rabbit showmanship.
Now, as a senior in the Agricultural Education and Communication Department at the University of Florida, Angie’s just a fall and spring semester away from graduating with a degree specializing in agricultural education. Before her final year started, the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) named Angie as one of their National #TeachAg Ambassadors. The ambassador program allows individuals who are passionate about agricultural education to share their enthusiasm and encourage others to consider a career in teaching agriculture. Beyond her passion for agricultural education, Angie is dedicated to promoting the career to fill the open teaching positions across the state and country, while encouraging diversity, equity, and inclusion in the classroom.
In these final semesters, Angie is working with UF faculty and graduate students to do research for an undergraduate thesis focused on the promotion of agricultural education in Latinx communities and providing resources for tangible strategies in acclimating students in classrooms. After graduation she hopes to continue this work as an agriculture teacher and hopes to pave the way for more minority students to find a path in agricultural education.
AEC is celebrating National #TeachAg Day with NAAE on September 15, highlighting the students and alumni who are making a difference in the lives of students and peers. If you’re interested in studying agricultural education, visit the UF AEC website at https://aec.ifas.ufl.edu/ for more information about getting started with UF!