At 15 years old, Ivy was approached in a grocery store by a kind Lily Dale medium who asked Ivy if she knew that she had "the gift."
As a child, Rivera was clairvoyant, empathic, communicative and could see spirits, but didn't know she was able to give a reading. Alongside the medium who discovered her, Rivera agreed to develop her abilities and gave her first reading when she was 16 years old.
“It was then, when I was child, I found out this ability ran in my family. No one had done it professionally until I did."
Although Rivera says her family was told to hide their abilities, she was fortunate to grow up close to the spiritualist community found within Lily Dale where she was able to seek development instead of concealment.
“Lily Dale became a home for me where I felt like I was understood in the things I was experiencing."
When Rivera started reading for the public, it began to grow into a full-time business. During her first year working for the public, she said people who had abilities were coming to her with a lot of fear and doubts. They were hoping to develop their abilities, but were told they were bad or evil- and this severely damaged their confidence.
Rev. Ivy continued to read for the public, for over 20 years, in various locations- finally finding a more permanent location in 2013. Ivy is now located in the Ivy League Psychic Academy at 17 Lincoln Rd in Amherst, NY 14226, just outside of the city of Buffalo, NY.
The Academy offers various classes and lectures including Reiki, tarot, psychic mediumship development, astrology, yoga, paranormal training, crystals, kid classes and spiritual development workshops. Those certified in psychic mediumship through the ILPA host Ivy League Psychic Fairs throughout Western New York.
The Academy also offers programs for a younger age group, called 'intuitive kids.' According to Rivera, children typically peak with their intuitive abilities at six years old. The Academy is a place where kids are encouraged to use their abilities and are taught how to better understand what they possess.
Rivera firmly believes that mediumship is essential to our well-being and balance:
“Through your intuition and connection with spirit and the universe, you can better understand who you are and what your calling is in life. You can prevent negative energy from coming into your life, you can heal where negative energy has been present, and most importantly move yourself forward on a path that feels true to you. You can enjoy your life to the fullest, and have a more positive outlook for yourself and those around you.”
“I don’t believe abilities are necessarily 'the gift,' everybody has the potential to develop them. I felt a need to help people to overcome their fears and doubts so that they could become unblocked and truly be themselves and not be afraid of their potentials — this lead me to organize a small class, which has turned into multiple courses and developmental programs.”
The Ivy League Psychic Academy is open to all. The variety of teachers who hold classes are trained in depth in their areas of expertise, or have obtained certification/an educational degree. Along with two classrooms and seven offices, the Academy is home to an art and gift shop which features local artists and spiritual products ranging from healing crystals to spiritual development books to paintings.
Additionally, Rivera has used the Academy to work with the medical community and help people explore different avenues of healing.
Rivera explains that The Academy stands out because it is where individuals can get into what they love by figuring out their true calling in a safe and loving space.
“The coming together of all these well-intentioned elements of art, inspiration, spiritual development, and energy working creates an atmosphere that you simply have to experience and feel yourself. This is a place where people come to heal and to bond, to learn and to grow, and most importantly to change their lives."
Rev. Ivy Rivera is planning on putting her revolutionary teaching methods into a book and digital program, and hopes to build more academies in the future.
Rivera says her mission is to "Raise up the next generation of Light Workers."
“My mission is to send well-intentioned people into the world, so we can all start spreading more positivity and understanding, while also changing the stigma of what it means to have psychic, mediumistic, and empathic abilities.”
Rivera's students also include her three talented children.