Meaningful Coincidences Lead to Meaningful Connections


Victoria Rivera, LCSW, Wellness Psychotherapist, speaks at the Breakfast of Champions panel on Mental Health and Wellness Careers on November 10, 2018


Synchronicity is a concept, first introduced by analytical psychologist Carl Jung, which holds that events are "meaningful coincidences" if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related.”

Recently, I had the pleasure of having one of the most significant experiences of synchronicity meeting Manny Almonte and Charlie Vargas, founding members of Mastermind Connect, which led me to another profound experience the following day; joining them and their progressive group of gentlemen at their Breakfast of Champions Career Exploration Panel, aimed to help guide NYC underserved youth with finding their passion and creating a space for them to feel valued.

The event was amazing!

During breakfast, I had the pleasure of speaking with a few ladies about their college and career goals. One young lady expressed her ambivalent feelings about “being in school for so long to become a doctor.”  As she shared her feelings with me and her friends, we connected with how important it was to listen to yourself and follow your own path. It was an inspiring conversation. They opened up with ease about their feelings, dreams, and desires, and how the Breakfast of Champions program was helping them to understand more of who they are and what they want from their lives.

Students from the NYC Urban Ambassadors and NYC Great! programs participate in the Mental Health and Wellness Careers panel at John Jay College, November 10, 2018

Students from the NYC Urban Ambassadors and NYC Great! programs participate in the Mental Health and Wellness Careers panel at John Jay College, November 10, 2018


In meeting these exceptional young men and women from the NYC Urban Ambassadors and NYC Great! programs from the New York City Department of Education, I knew that I, as a panelist, had to be real and authentic in not only sharing the path to my career, but my struggles, and the ambivalent feelings I experienced along the way.

To have the honor to speak with them about a potential career in the health and wellness field was exciting. The exposure of atypical health and wellness professionals not only showed the variety in the field, but also that they could choose a path unique to them, just like we panelists did.

For example, both Pervis Taylor and Talib Jasir touched upon how they developed their own niche helping people as life coaches, in their own unique way, and Omar Davis touched upon his experience transitioning from being a musician to  becoming a massage therapist, who is now creating health educational content on the human anatomy and emotional intelligence.  Linda Santiago and I, both licensed clinical social workers, explored our different paths with the same degree and license, again illustrating that the most important aspect of whatever career you choose is that it’s your path, unique to you.


Breakfast of Champions on Mental Health and Wellness Careers at John Jay College, curated by Mastermind Connect. November 10, 2018


I am truly blessed to have crossed paths with Manny and the other Mastermind Connect members, and to have participated in the Breakfast of Champions career exploration panel. I appreciate all the work this group of gentlemen have done, and continue to do, to shape the lives of the youth, while shaping the lives of men in the process.

From my experience, this group lives up to their vision, and I look forward to being an active contributor to future endeavours within their community.