Academic Spotlight: Alex Rivera

December 22, 2022

One of the greatest things about working at the Kean University Foundation is collaborating with our dedicated, passionate and brilliant academic partners across Kean University. Each day is a learning experience with some of the best and brightest – in the arts and theatre to economic workforce development and social entrepreneurship. It is a pleasure and a privilege to continue to highlight some of the stories in our eNewsletter’s Academic Spotlight.

Alex Rivera is the director of the Center for Economic and Workforce Development, Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the John S. Watson Institute for Urban Policy and Research at Kean University. He supports New Jersey communities in providing for the economic needs of people in socially equitable and environmentally sustainable ways.

In collaboration and partnership with fellow colleagues from the John S. Watson Institute for Urban Policy and Research, Ana I. Berdecia, M.Ed., director for the Center for Positive Development of Urban Children, and Kean University Equity in Action Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow Saran Nurse, Ph.D., from the College of Business and Public Management, Rivera and team were awarded a $40,000 grant from Bank of America to link family childcare provider educational quality and business development. This initiative aims to help family childcare providers enhance educational quality and business viability by providing technical assistance and consultancy for providing culturally competent and responsive education and business development support in underserved communities.

This grant will be instrumental in developing a program that provides entrepreneurial childcare providers with highly valuable skills to help their businesses thrive while maintaining a safe and healthy environment for children. It will have a ripple effect of strengthening the local economy and of parents having the freedom and confidence to maintain their own employment.

“The work that the Kean University Foundation is doing to provide programs and initiatives that support family childcare providers in New Jersey is crucial,” said Alberto Garofalo, president of Bank of America New Jersey. “The job of a parent or guardian is challenging enough and providing childcare assistance is an important way to increase economic mobility in our community.”

On behalf of the entire team at the Kean University Foundation, congratulations to Alex, Ana and Saran!