John RiveraBy Jose B. Rivera
John Rivera was born and raised in East Harlem and has been a resident ever since then. He is the October 1996 East Harlem Online Person of the Month by virtue of his community service.
John Rivera was born in 1962. He attended public school in East Harlem. When he became a teenager he started to become active in life of the community. The first community organization he became part of was the Youth Action Program (Y.A.P.) As one of the directors of the board of Y.A.P., John strove to learn the dynamics of leadership within a community based organization.
Later, Mr. Rivera was chosen to attended a training on the principles of leadership at a summer session of the Industrial Areas Foundation (I.A.F.) leadership school. What impressed John were the strategies which Sol Alinsky used to effect change on ineffective governmental and community power structures. Mr. Rivera has held on to this way of thinking ever since learning these strategies.
As a life long resident of East Harlem, Mr. Rivera has served by volunteering on many agencies which affect change in the community. For instance, he has worked with the Community Service Society, Casa Mutua, Inc., Hotline Cares, Inc., the Neighborhood Based Alliance and The People For A New East Harlem to name a few. As a Co-Conveyor of the People For A New East Harlem, John Rivera steered the group to having monthly educational forums. Forum topics included; Assembly Candidates Debate 1995, The PathMark Issue, School Board Elections 1996, Health Issues and others. Because of Mr. Rivera, attendance at the People For A New East Harlem forums grew and remained high.
Mr. Rivera currently lives in Wagner Projects with his wife and son. He works during the day and attends school at Hunter College. He will complete his requirements for a B.A. in political science in 1997. But what he misses most of all while attending school is providing education forums on diverse topics to the East Harlem community. He can not wait to get back to it. The last forum Mr. Rivera organized was the 1996 68th Assembly District Candidates’ Debate.
John Rivera has proven that he cares about East Harlem by being involved and by taking the time to try to edify it’s residents. Like many other committed community activist, John Rivera wishes to make a life in our community. He is committed to staying.
Editor’s Update: (April 19, 1998): Mr. Rivera completed his studies at Hunter College and received his BA He continues to work for the betterment of the East Harlem community.
Editor’s Update: (April 14, 2001): Mr. Rivera is currently running for Democratic District Leader in East Harlem.
Editors Update: (March 22, 2002) Mr. Rivera currently serves on the board of directors of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone.
Editor’s Update: (January 15, 2005) Mr. Rivera currently works as a community representative at the office of Congressman Charles Rangel.
Editor’s Update: (October, 15, 2009) Mr. Rivera currently works as as a community representative at Mt. Sinai Hospital and was recently a candidate for Democratic District Leader.