Elliot with a big smile and sweater

Elliot A. Rivera

Executive Director



Elliot is a first generation Salvadoran with over 15 years of professional experience focusing on the intersection of healing, leadership and collective positive social change – especially through an intergenerational and anti-racist lens. He brings extensive experience throughout the non-profit sector, researcher, fundraiser, manager, evaluator, educator and community organizer in a myriad of settings. These include non-profit leadership at the Latino Education Institute at Worcester State University, Program Director & Community Engagement Specialist for the City of Worcester’s Division of Youth Opportunities and serving as chair for the city’s task force on the healing of boys & men of color. He also brings a deep research and evaluation lens, serving as community level researcher at Worcester State University, UMASS Medical School and Clark University, including being part of the founding of Clark’s research Collaborative For Youth & Community Justice and serving as an Associate Researcher & Evaluator for the collaborative.

He would describe himself through 3 words– humility, joy and love, and lives this through his love of getting outside, co-creating and participating in intentional healing and affinity spaces, and creating space & time to support community led efforts, especially supporting other leaders of color, returning the favors and support he’s received throughout his career. Currently he also serves on the Executive Committee of the Rhode Island After-School Network, pushing to co-create more spaces for learning, healing and radical positive change for how we care for youth and the adults who serve them in Out of School time opportunities throughout the Ocean State.

If he’s not on campus at Tufts working on his graduate degree in Urban & Environmental Planning, catch him in the mountains or by the water– and he’ll be more than happy to share some adventure time with you!

“I am excited about the opportunity to lead such an innovative organization! YIA plays an imperative role in the development of youth and their adult allies, going beyond traditional approaches to leadership development by prioritizing social-emotional development. This leads to effective, long-term impacts on our participants. It truly is an honor to be part of this organization!”