Amanda Rivera Flores
Amanda Rivera Flores is a leader committed to providing opportunities so that all children and youth in Puerto Rico can develop to their full potential. From being a middle school teacher in the Teach for America program, to director of Development and Community Relations in a school in Harlem, New York; to coordinating a Conflict Management program in 24 public schools in Puerto Rico through the Chana and Samuel Levis Foundation, she has over 12 years of experience working for children and youth, promoting public policy and education research. She worked as a Public Policy associate in edCount in Washington D.C., where she served as assistant director of the Department of Education of Puerto Rico’s Technical Assistance Project, and authored studies on the cognitive validity of standardized tests and school culture. She has also led efforts of federal public policy focused on issues of child welfaren, juvenile justice, mental health, homeless youth, among others, through her work in the nonprofit organization Youth Villages, an organization that serves 23,000 young people and their families in 13 states. Additionally, she is the co-founder of Puerto Rican Minds in Action (Mentes Puertorriqueñas en Acción), an entity with a mission to empower a network of young agents of change to create inclusive and effective initiatives for Puerto Rico.
She has a bachelor’s degree in Government and Sociology from Harvard College, where she did her thesis on the implementation of the Special Communities Program in Puerto Rico; and focused her studies on the issues of inequality and poverty on the island. She also received a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, with a specialization in Social and Public Policy and a focus on childhood and youth issues.
She recently moved to San Juan after being part of the diaspora for more than 15 years, achieving her dream of returning to her homeland. Since February 2017, she has been the Executive Director of the Youth Development Institute of Puerto Rico where she makes her voice heard oh behalf of the most vulnerable people —the island’s children and youth— so that regardless of their current life circumstances, they all have the same opportunities to improve their economic situation and reach their full potential enjoying a happy, healthy and safe environment.
In her free time, she loves to exercise to clear her mind, spend time with her husband and family and enjoy all the island’s beautiful beaches.