Kristin Rivera is a driven, ambitious leader who strives to eliminate barriers in recovery systems. Her passion stems from personal experience living with mental illness and facing difficulties in navigating mental health system during her childhood and into adulthood. Kristin was the first of her family to pursue higher education where she graduated from Binghamton University (SUNY) with degrees in Psychology (B.A.) and Sociocultural Anthropology (B.A.). Before joining Youth Power, Kristin had the privilege of working with youth, young adults, and geriatric communities to assist in educating and empowering individuals on their road to recovery using peer recovery programs, direct care management, and community-based services. Kristin’s favorite phrase is, “be the change you wish to see in the world,” which she embodies in her personal and professional life. Having grown up in the Central New York Region, Kristin aspires to fulfill the YP mission in her community as well as create a safe space across mediums for youth members to establish and maintain a sense of community during their advocacy journey.
Uniquely positioned to take in the wisdom of older generations and draw on their experience living through a global youth mental health pandemic, Youth Voices must be heard in the conversation of how best to support youth mental health. Isaiah Santiago, a 19-year-old youth advocate recently elected to the Rochester City School Board, will facilitate a diverse panel of youth (high school age to 25) who will share their views on what it will take to support youth mental wellness in their communities.