HMI:NJ names Lillian Rivera as new executive director

Hetrick-Martin Institute: New Jersey executive director is Jersey City native Lillian Rivera.
Hetrick-Martin Institute: New Jersey executive director is Jersey City native Lillian Rivera.

HMI assists LGBT youth with education and counseling

The Hetrick-Martin Institute: New Jersey has named Jersey City native Lillian Rivera, a long-time leader in the LGBT community, its new Executive Director. Rivera succeeds Dr. Ashawnda Fleming, the organization’s first leader, who departed late last year to become the Chief Executive Officer of the American Psychological Association’s Foundation, in Washington D.C. Rivera was named Interim Executive Director upon Fleming’s departure.

“From the beginning of our search process, the HMI: NJ search committee and Board of Directors realized we needed an entrepreneurial individual who was fully committed and prepared to serve at-risk youth in our community,” said Board Co-Chair Dan Zanella. “Lilly stood out among our many candidates with her deep knowledge and practical experience with LGBTQ youth and dynamic leadership style.”

Hetrick-Martin Institute NJ banner adHMI: NJ’s main program site in Newark provides after-school programming in arts and culture, health and wellness, academic enrichment and job readiness. HMI: NJ supports youth with counseling and case management, an onsite pantry for food and other necessities, outreach assistance for homeless LGBT youth, and referrals to other community services.

HMI: NJ has created “mini sites” with on-site counseling and case management services for LGBT youth, staffed by social workers at Newark Public High Schools and Covenant House in Newark.

Rivera noted, “We are in a great place. HMI: NJ’s staff and board, and the support of HMI’s CEO Thomas Krever, has led us to a place of organizational and financial strength.”
“We are deliberately assessing how to serve LGBTQ youth beyond our Newark core, and strengthening our work in Essex, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties,” said Jase Whipple, HMI: NJ Board Co-Chair. “Lilly’s strategic vision and ability to marshal the resources required to meet the demand of our community’s youth will lead us into the next phase of HMI: NJ’s support for LGBTQ youth throughout our state.”