Behind the Desk with Georgina Rivera

Georgina Rivera

Meet Georgina Rivera, Director of Champions for Children’s Parents as Teachers program. Georgina oversees a team of more than 15 “parent educators” who conduct monthly home visits with over 1,000 parents and children every year to promote healthy development, school readiness, support for the parent-child relationship, and family well-being. Any time is a good time to share about this powerful work, but this month, we have a special reason for doing so: it’s Georgina’s 25th anniversary with Champions for Children, making her the longest-serving member of our team! 

So let’s hear from the longest-serving current member of the Champions team!

You’ve been with Champions 25 years – that’s amazing! Tell us a little about your journey with Champions, from the beginning.

When I started with Champions for Children, we were still known as the “Child Abuse Council.” My first role was as an intern with New Life Dwelling Place, which was a subsidiary at the time. After spending one semester there for around 30 hours a week, I graduated from USF and was hired as an educator in what was then our Healthy Start program before moving over to Parents as Teachers where I’ve been ever since!

How do you think Champions has changed since you started back in 1998? 

We have definitely grown. We’re always adding new services and trainings, but our mission stays the same: prevention of child abuse through education and family support. Though we have had a few different leaders, our consistency of purpose has allowed us the opportunity to serve and support thousands of families. It is quite an accomplishment to say we have been mission-driven for almost 50 years and continue to keep the needs of the families in our community as our primary focus.

What’s a stand-out memory from your 25 years with Champions?

I have so many it is really hard to single out just one! I think that one of the many exciting things our program has accomplished is being the Parents as Teachers State office for about 4 years. As the State Office, we had the opportunity to support Parents as Teachers programs across the state and play a role in building a stronger footprint for this important program throughout Florida.

What would you say you love most about your work?

The opportunity to serve so many different types of families, but also to support our wonderful staff that directly serve the families.

Let’s switch gears and let our readers to get to know you a little bit. What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I am pretty much an open book so it is hard to think of something that most people don’t know about me.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If we learn something new about Georgina after 25 years, we will be sure to update this post!

What are some of your favorite things to do in your free time?

My most favorite thing to do with any free time I have is either spending time at home just being there, or spending time with my kids or my friends doing pretty much anything!

And last, but not least… what’s something you’re looking forward to this year?

Professionally, I am looking forward to a great year for the Parents as Teachers program that will hopefully include an opportunity for expansion and additional services to the families in our community. I am excited to see what opportunities present themselves for me and for our team.