After a six-month national search, downtown Allentown non-profit organization Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley has selected a new executive director.
Yamil Sanchez Rivera of Reading, Pa. started the job on Monday, January 6. He comes to the position with an existing knowledge base of not only the Lehigh Valley but specifically of downtown Allentown having lived in the city twice.
He attended Kutztown University where he earned his Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and also his Certification in Secondary Education for Chemistry. He went on to attend Lehigh University, graduating in May 2010 with a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.
Most recently he was the Head of School and CEO for I-LEAD Charter School in Reading. Prior to that position he was Head of School at Kuumba Academy Charter School in Wilmington, DE. His career history also includes working for the United Way of Delaware and of Berks County. PNLV is a program of the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley.
“I am excited to join Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley and United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley in their efforts to mobilize residents, community partners, educational institutions, and business leaders to ensure the success of children from birth to career,” said Sanchez Rivera. “I look forward to serving the children and their families of the Lehigh Valley alongside the many individuals who have invested their time and resources to create Promise Neighborhoods. As I begin my journey, I welcome the opportunity to learn more about existing efforts and discuss how, through collaboration, we can best meet the needs of children and families.”
“The concept of a Promise Neighborhood is a “big idea” – all children born in a neighborhood will thrive, succeed in school and become vital members in the community. We are delighted that Yamil Sanchez Rivera has chosen to become our Executive Director,” said PNLV Board Chairman Ed Meehan. “Yamil’s combination of talent, training, experience and approach to community service made him the standout choice. This is a good day for families and children across the Lehigh Valley. I’d also like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks and compliments to Kay Hughston of Crayola and her volunteer search committee comprised of leaders from across the region. Their national search attracted a large number of extremely qualified professionals.”
Sanchez Rivera’s duties at PNLV will include strengthening and expanding quality early childhood education to all families in the Allentown Promise Neighborhood; assisting the PNLV board in establishing an independent, regional not-for-profit organization; developing more complete measurements for tracking the success of children at the community level; working in partnership with other community leaders and not-for-profit organizations to create winning opportunities for agencies and families in the APN; and exploring cooperative efforts to expand the Promise Neighborhood model to other Lehigh Valley communities such as Easton’s West Ward and Bethlehem’s Southside. He will also lead the organization’s small staff of two employees.
About Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley
Founded in 2007, Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley unites residents and leaders from various sectors to ensure the success of children from birth through career. Promise Neighborhoods, a subsidiary of the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, accomplishes its work through place-based, collective impact efforts, like Allentown Promise Neighborhood. Its office is located at 347 N. 8th Street in Downtown Allentown. For more information, visit www.PromiseNeighborhoodsLV.org.