Gloria Yolanda Rivera 1960-2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 2, 2014

CONTACT: John Garcia, Director of Communications, 212-739-7513, 917-673-9095 or jgarcia@latinojustice.org.

Gloria Yolanda Rivera, a friend of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, a supporter of young dreamers and a successful lawyer and businesswoman, passed away last week after a long illness.

Rivera had a successful career as a lawyer, entrepreneur and business owner, but her passion was helping young people pursue their dreams. She is remembered by her friends and colleagues as someone who jumped into every opportunity to help children, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds.

“Gloria had a big personality, a bigger heart, and an even greater commitment to paving the way for young people pursuing their dreams,” said Sonji Patrick, Director of Education programs, LatinoJustice PRLDEF. “She supported our LAWbound® program from its inception, and was one of the first and most consistent volunteers for our LAWbound summer academy since 2005. She worked with us until her health issues arose.”

Rivera devoted a great deal of time to volunteer efforts aimed at children and students from underprivileged backgrounds, through organizations such as the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of New York, the Puerto Rican Bar Association and the Black Culinarian Alliance (BCA), for which she has received numerous awards and recognition. Rivera was an early supporter and advisor of the Bronx Children's Museum. She was committed to the creation of a children's museum for the children of her borough.

A friend, Lee Llambelis said, “Gloria was all about abriendo caminos and creating opportunities for those not born with a silver spoon. She was the quintessential Catholic school girl from the Bronx.”

Rivera, earned her B.A. from Columbia University and held a J.D. from Harvard Law School. After her graduation from Harvard, Rivera practiced law, as a litigation associate with Kaye Scholer LLP and in New York City, with the former Hall Dickler Kent Friedman & Wood LLP.

She also served as Director of Legal Personnel for the law firm of Chadbourne & Parke LLP and Dean of Admissions and Dean of Career Services, both at St. John’s University School of Law. She began her career in administration at New York University School of Law.

Rivera was also an entrepreneur. She served as vice president for an international real estate holding company and was formerly the President of Rivera Consulting, a firm that specialized in Human Resources and Career Placement issues.

Gloria was a fierce advocate, a mover and shaker, a devoted volunteer and friend. She will be deeply missed. A memorial service will be planned for the near future.

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