Lou Rivera: Helping York’s Latinos rise

When Lou Rivera sees something he feels York’s Latino community needs, he sets out to make it happen.

Presented by: Our York Media

“Se levanta” means “to rise.”

It’s in the name given to a recent effort to help Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico Se Levanta – to rise out of the devastation of the hurricanes that ravaged it last year.

It’s also the spirit of what Lou Rivera does to help the Latino community, especially here in York County.

“I just love the Latino community – it’s my passion,” he says. “I know how growing up poor, it was a struggle, but education is a way out of it. I always had the passion to better my life and live the American dream.”

Lou is a native of Camden, N.J. and grew up in Worcester, Mass., but returned to New Jersey to attend Rutgers University. He has lived in York for over two years and found a place to develop his passion.

I just love the Latino community – it’s my passion.

Lou Rivera

It blossoms in the many programs in which he is involved, such as Puerto Rico Se Levanta, a 21-day giving effort that kicked off on January’s First Friday. In that time, more than $15,000 was raised for relief efforts. He’s also involved with bringing a Traveling Resource Fair to York and starting up a First Friday Latino in the city.

When Lou sees something he feels York’s Latino community needs, he sets out to make it happen. But it’s not necessarily in the physical realm – it’s more about having a seat at the table.

“Now it’s time that we take the engagement and inclusiveness to the next level by demanding we be invited, on boards and commissions and such, and by requiring that Latinos are represented in all aspects of York city life,” Lou says. It’s one important step to see all citizens have access to the services that will make them successful in life, he adds.

“The political climate of today has inspired me. I truly believe it is a calling.”

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