Riveras Provide Job Experience For Cal Student-Athletes

Riveras Provide Job Experience For Cal Student-Athletes

Lacrosse’s Kalena Johnson, Track & Field’s Adriana Ellard Enjoy Valuable Internships With Washington Commanders

This feature originally appeared in the 2024 Spring edition of the Cal Sports Quarterly. The Cal Athletics flagship magazine features long-form sports journalism at its finest and provides in-depth coverage of the scholar-athlete experience in Berkeley. Printed copies are mailed four times a year to Bear Backers who give annually at the Bear Club level (currently $600 or more). For more information on how you can receive a printed version of the Cal Sports Quarterly at home, send an email to or call (510) 642-2427.
It’s often said a Cal hat or Cal shirt can provoke a “Go Bears” anywhere in the world.
That apparently includes an NFL training camp on the other side of the country.

Track & field’s Adriana Ellard and Lacrosse’s Kalena Johnson had the unique experience of interning for the Washington Commanders last summer. The opportunity came about thanks to the generosity of Ron and Stephanie Rivera, a proud Golden Bear couple that sought to help the Cameron Institute provide career exposure for Cal student-athletes.
Ron Rivera was an All-American linebacker for Cal during the 1980s and is the former head coach of the Washington Commanders while Stephanie played basketball for the Golden Bears. The couple met in Berkeley and have been married for 40 years.
“We were sitting at a table for lunch and (Ron and Stephanie) came and sat a table away from us. Halfway through lunch, they dropped a little “Go Bears,” Johnson said. “The Cal spirit there was super high. Even other coaches on the staff who had come from the Pac-12, they loved it.”

Johnson and Ellard spent three weeks at the Commanders training camp last summer getting an up close and personal look at the complex inner workings of an NFL franchise. Johnson secured a role as an operations intern while Ellard worked as a nutrition & performance intern. Both came about after engaging with their career advisors at the Cameron Institute.
“The Cameron Institute provides a lot of guidance,” Ellard said. “As student-athletes, there is a lot thrown at us, so they help us set our paths straight a little bit. I’m very grateful to the Riveras for giving us this chance and the opportunity to be out there and just try something completely new and open doors…

CLICK HERE to Read the Full Original Article at California Golden Bears Athletics…