Lena Rivera
Virginia Commonwealth University, College of Engineering, Employer Relations and Communications Specialist

Lena Rivera has a passion for bringing Virginia economic prosperity and addressing social issues such as the opioid and drug crisis.

Lena Rivera is an Employer Relations and Communications Specialist at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in the College of Engineering. In her role, she helps engineering students reach their career goals by promoting professional development opportunities and networking events with large employers throughout Virginia. Additionally, Lena helps build relationships with employers in Virginia to aid engineering recruitment efforts.

Lena’s passions for improving Virginia’s workforce to boost the state’s economy derived from her humble beginnings growing up in Martinsville, Virginia where she saw the many negative impacts a lacking workforce can cause – including the opioid and drug crisis. This insight motivated Lena to want more for her own future, so with the unconditional encouragement of her mother, Lena moved to Richmond, Virginia when she was 18 years old to chase her dream of being the first person in her family to receive a bachelor’s degree. This journey gave Lena the urge to help others find greatness, regardless of the cards they were dealt.

While attending VCU, Lena worked with Upward Bound of Martinsville and Henry County where she aided high school students from low-income families to gain the tools they need to attend college – many of them now first-generation graduates. Lena also worked at the Boys and Girls Club of Southside Richmond to help tutor and mentor students in underrepresented populations.

Once Lena graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, she worked with VCU Health System, Department of Internal Medicine for about three years as a Communications Specialist. Her main roles included serving as a member of the Faculty Development Committee, Program Manager of a large contemporary health conference and Producer and Manager of the VCU GenMed Podcast that helped health providers learn about the latest updates in modern medicine and addressed public health issues.

With her learned experiences and passion to impact the lives of Virginia’s youth, Lena hopes to help others understand that everyone deserves the chance to reach greatness while boosting Virginia’s economy.