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Julia Rivera is one of the 2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty honorees. Graphic: Maybeth Peralta/AL DÍA News.
Julia Rivera is one of the 2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty honorees. Graphic: Maybeth Peralta/AL DÍA News.

2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty Honoree: Julia Rivera

Julia Rivera, Vice President of External Affairs & Strategic Initiatives at Congreso, will be honored during the 2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty on Aug. 26.

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The third annual AL DÍA 40 Under Forty event serves to highlight and showcase some of the most diverse and impactful young professionals across the Philadelphia region. 

At this year's event, taking place Friday, Aug. 26, Julia Rivera will be one of the 40 honorees. 

Biography

In her role as Vice President of External Affairs & Strategic Initiatives, Julia Rivera is responsible for spearheading and managing Congreso’s communications, marketing, community and advocacy work. 

Throughout her tenure with Congreso, Rivera has helped significantly increase Congreso’s digital marketing efforts and social media presence, coordinated the agency’s civic engagement work, supported program teams across all service areas, and led new initiatives to cultivate staff engagement. In August 2020, she was selected as a Coors Light Líderes Finalist for her civic leadership and noteworthy work in improving the lives of individuals, communities, and organizations.

Rivera also serves as a member of Congreso's Executive Cabinet, which meets regularly to discuss and guide the agency's ongoing strategy, operations and initiatives. She also serves on the agency's inaugural Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Council, Employee Appreciation Committee, Safety Committee, and as a PCM Facilitator for bi-monthly professional development for supervisor. 

A graduate of Trinity College with a Bachelor of Art degree in Sociology, Economics and Urban Studies and Master's in Public Policy, Rivera is constantly looking for new volunteer and community engagement opportunities. She is also in the process of completing her Corporate Communications Certification from Cornell. 

As part of the lead-up to the AL DÍA 40 Under Forty event, AL DÍA asked each of the honorees a set of identical questions and collected their responses. 

Here are Julia Rivera's responses: 

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your professional career? 

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is acknowledging and accepting when things don’t go as intended. I’ve learned to focus on the impact of my work regardless of my intentions because ultimately that is what matters. These situations allow us to learn, grow, and get better.

What are steps that can be taken to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in your industry? Why is it important to do so?

DEI should be valued and seen as just as important in the nonprofit industry as in any other. Sometimes it is overlooked and wrongly assumed that everyone in the industry is fully equipped to serve diverse populations and needs due to the mission-driven nature of the work. That’s a missed opportunity to step back, dive deeper, and go beyond assumptions. DEI encompasses so much about identity, culture, belonging and understanding and is essential to the success of a human-centered industry like social services and nonprofit community work.

What does being a leader mean to you? 

Being a leader to me is all about integrity and commitment. It means prioritizing, understanding, and honoring those that you are leading. It is being present, demonstrating empathy and strong values, taking time to listen and ask the right questions, making challenging decisions, and acknowledging and learning from setbacks.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Over the next 5 years, I hope to continue to strengthen my leadership skills and my network in Philadelphia. In 5 years, I would love to be serving on a board and participating in more volunteer and advocacy work supporting the growth of others as well. I see myself continuing to serve, celebrate, and contribute to Philly’s Latino community in a leadership capacity.

The 2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty event will take place Friday, Aug. 26 at The Vie at Cescaphe. To learn more or purchase your ticket, click here

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