Meets pressing community needs by mobilizing caring New Yorkers in volunteer service.

Eba Hamid-Rivera | Team Leader Spotlight


Team Leader, New York Cares

Eba is the perfect example of answering the call without being asked. She doesn’t wait to be told about a need to start addressing it. Plus, she never forgets to enter volunteer attendance! –Sarah Ushay, Children’s Education Officer


School may be out for summer, but our Team Leader Spotlight for July isn’t letting that slow her down. In fact, there’s little that stands in the way of this leader’s ability to jump into action. Just take the time when she was told a program was in need of books and board games and she started her own Amazon wish list with friends on a quest to change that. Needless to say, that wish list was fulfilled in no time.

Meet Eba, a Team Leader going on her second year in a New York Cares leadership role and someone who has defined quality leadership practices every step of the way. Nominated for the spotlight by Children’s Education Officer, Sarah Ushay, Eba is someone who stood out from day one. 

"I first met Eba as a fellow Team Leader before she became a Team Leader for a program of mine. We were both leading Saturday Academy programs at PS 599 K. I lead Sports Explorers while she ran Art Explorers. Her program ran a little later than mine so I would poke my head in on the way out and see how the program was running. It was clear as a bystander that the kids and volunteers were engaged in fun and creative art projects, chosen with understanding and care by Eba. When I reached out about a one-off event at PS 599 K later in the year, Eba was the first to volunteer to lead the day."

Since then, Eba has brought her can-do attitude and leadership to programs such as Morning Therapeutic Horsemanship with GallopNYC and Art Explorers at Women's Safe Start, both of which provide New Yorkers with a space to engage in empowering activities. For Eba, team leading has served as the perfect outlet for pursuing a community-focused life.

Volunteering helps me feel connected (to the world and to my neighbors), and it helps to keep the depression at bay. Being a Team Leader has shown me that there's plenty of greatness and love to be found, and there's plenty of people willing to give of themselves to make their communities kinder and more equitable. Also, volunteering has just exposed me to so many great pockets and people of New York City -- whether it was through working with horses in Prospect Park, delivering food in the Bronx or creating collages with kids in Bed-Stuy."

For volunteers on Eba’s projects, her leadership translates into inspiration. Jakita, a volunteer on Art Explorers at PS 599 K Brooklyn Landmark Elementary, shared:

"Awesome project! Eba is so passionate about the kids and allowing them to express their creativity. I really enjoyed working with this project." 

To sum it all up, although Eba has shown time and time again that she is the kind of leader who acts without request or recognition, recognition is certainly in order. Thank you, Eba, for picking up the call to service and motivating others to join. New York Cares is grateful to have you out there leading the charge with your passion and positivity!

  • Volunteer since: 2013
  • Team Leader since: 2016
  • Hours Spent Volunteering: 75
  • Describe in one word what being a Team Leader means to you: Community. For too long, I lived a life that centered on working too much and focusing on myself. Now, I'm slowly working to re-center my life. I'm able to see the impacts we can all have on each other through intentional community building.
What are you most passionate about?

I'm so passionate about letting kids be kids and helping to create an environment where they can express themselves and be whoever they want to be. I love art, especially calligraphy and embroidery, and get a lot of pleasure out of sharing that with others.

Share a favorite memory from a project.
Earlier this year, I was leading an Art Explorers project at an elementary school where I was teaching third-, fourth- and fifth-graders (and some volunteers!) how to do embroidery. I was blown away with how into embroidery the students were and how great they were at it. I thought maybe they'd want to do one or two lessons at the most, but we ended up doing embroidery projects every single week. At the end of the project, one of the teachers at the school told me she was getting her daughter, who took part in the project, an embroidery set because she wanted to keep building on the skills she had developed in the project.
Tell us one thing that you never leave the house without before team leading.

I always have a notebook. It helps keep all my volunteer sign-in forms together, track my inventory if needed for arts projects and jot down any notes or happy moments from projects

What is your favorite thing to do in New York?

I love visiting as many bookstores as I can in New York City (Word Up in Washington Heights and Greenlight in Clinton Hill are two of my favorites). I'm also a fan of hanging out in a hammock in our backyard of sunflowers.

Anything else you'd like to add?

I got to know New York City through New York Cares, and it has been such an important part of my life as a New Yorker. Whatever your interests or skills, you can find a project that needs you.

Interested in nominating a great leader like Eba to be featured in a future Team Leader Spotlight? Submit your nomination here.