For Migdalia ‘Dali’ Rivera, the newest member of the Hernando Sun family, Spring Hill is a long way from New York City – geographically, as well as personally and professionally.
Dali’s parents migrated from Puerto Rico in the 1950s and raised their family in Spanish Harlem, a neighborhood on the upper east side of New York City.
“During my childhood, my Dad was very involved in the civil rights movement and politics, and was part of a coalition in Spanish Harlem that met with the city Mayor to implement upgrades to Spanish Harlem,” Dali remarks.
As a teenager Dali joined “ASPIRA,” a not-for-profit organization whose mission was to help Latinos pursue higher education and leadership roles in the community. “ASPIRA” helped me with the admissions process to a State University College after my high school guidance counselor advised I should settle for a two year community college.”
After a year she transferred to the prestigious Pratt Institute and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior/Environmental Design. Dali worked in this field for thirteen years as a corporate interior designer for large architectural, engineering and financial firms.
She moved on and started a business proprietary school to provide a career path for those that could not attend college. During this time Dali also entered into political life by running for City Council representing Park Slope, Red Hook and Sunset Park Brooklyn. She almost won against an incumbent.
Dali has one son. After he was born, she “semi-retired” to raise her son, who had a learning disability and was eventually diagnosed with ADHD. She always advocated for her son. In his formative years, she relocated from New York to New Jersey, to provide the best possible special education and environment. Today, he is a successful entrepreneur in New Jersey, runway model, and Entertainment MC with a beautiful one- year-old daughter.
Dali has been a dedicated volunteer with numerous mental health advocacy groups in New York and New Jersey. When she moved to Spring Hill two years ago she reached out to NAMI and eventually got a job as a Rehabilitation Specialist with Vincent Academy.
“I moved to Spring Hill because I wanted to be near my elderly parents and help them. My mother is in a healthcare facility and I visit her every day. My father is still living at home.”
Dali joined the Hernando Sun as a sales and marketing associate in July of this year. The job allows her the flexibility she needs so that she can spend time with her parents. It also fulfills her desire to help people.
“I have a passion and commitment towards helping others and that brings me joy. Hernando Sun provides that vehicle. I’m meeting so many amazing people. I feel that doors are opening to help community organizations and businesses to flourish.”
Dali enjoys a variety of activities in her spare time. She loves to dance – salsa and ballroom dancing. She also enjoys swimming and yoga, along with arts events, museums and films.
Like many recent transplants to Florida, Dali is finding her niche here. She is contributing her talents to the community and making Spring Hill a better place.