Visionary. Strategist. Communicator.
Jeremy Del Rio, Esq. advises businesses, schools, community and faith-based organizations, and leaders on sustainable education reform, coalition building, and youth and community development since 2000. He also co-founded and directs 20/20 Vision for Schools, a movement to transform public education that launched in New York City in 2008. Jeremy serves as an adjunct professor of urban leadership at Fuller Seminary, Alliance Theological Seminary, and City Vision College; and connects, trains, and mentors youth workers regionally through Urban Youth Workers Institute. He directed Generation Xcel, a holistic youth center in Manhattan, from 1996-2006; was the founding youth pastor at Abounding Grace Ministries (1994-2004); and also worked as a corporate attorney in New York. He has contributed to four recent books, including Deep Justice in a Broken World (Zondervan/YS 2008) and The Justice Project (Baker Books 2009), and his articles have appeared in Charisma, Willow, The Journal of Student Ministries, Relevant, and elsewhere. He and his wife Diana have two sons, Judah and Cyrus.
“Uncommon men for uncommon times.” – Dr. A.R. Bernard (More)
His first service experience occurred at a street outreach in Manhattan’s Union Square Park when he was eight years old and the then notorious park was known as a drug supermarket. There he witnessed a drug deal go bad and a man get stabbed, yet his parents brought him to a similar event the next weekend. He wouldn’t have had it any other way, as he has worked in public service in one capacity or another for every year of his life since that otherwise gloomy afternoon.
Del Rio’s mission: ‘Empowering people to achieve their dreams and transform their culture and communities.’
He has straddled both faith-based and nonreligious contexts, preaching his first full-length sermon at the age of 13 and starting a youth ministry at an urban church at 19, which he directed for ten years. While in college, he co-founded a community-based organization, and in 1996, as a 21 year-old graduate, he facilitated a team of thirteen young people ages 14-22 who started Generation Xcel as a summer day camp and after school center. He has worked as an attorney at a premier New York City law firm; led disaster relief efforts following 9/11; and written extensively on leadership, youth culture, urban ministry, and social justice.
Jeremy launched Community Solutions Consulting Services (now, Del Rio Inc.) in 2006 following three years as the first full-time executive director of Generation Xcel. Previously, he had given seven years of part-time, unpaid service to Xcel. Under his leadership, Xcel transformed from a strictly volunteer operation in a public housing project to one that operates two youth centers and a theater in lower Manhattan; served over 125 “at risk” kids each year through after school and summer camp programs; and touched thousands more through extensive outreach activities.
Xcel’s “by youth for youth” strategy – empower young people to create hope for their peers by providing viable alternatives to the streets – has been featured on national media and has been praised by community leaders, parents, and public officials as varied as Mayor Giuliani and Rep. Nydia Velazquez.
Jeremy graduated from NYU Law School in 1999, where he received various awards for public service including the Root-Tilden-Kern Scholarship and aHarvey Fellowship, before working for two years as an attorney at Dewey Ballantine LLP. He resigned following September 11, 2001, to co-found the Northeast Clergy Group, where he worked as operations director. After 9/11, he also consulted World Vision on the administration of its $6 million American Families Assistance Fund and designing the $1 million dollar Immigrants Assistance Program for underserved immigrant victims.
Jeremy was named “Standard Bearer” of the Class of 1995 at NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences. He is a featured speaker at universities, churches, and conferences, notably presenting “Thanks to Heroes” at the 9/11 anniversary Tribute to Grace and Hope at Madison Square Garden and participating in the program at Dr. Billy Graham’s final crusade. His work has been profiled in numerous media reports, including WNBC, FOX, Bloomberg Radio, Sky News, BBC, NY-1, and many more. He has contributed to four books, most recently An Emergent Manifesto of Justice (Baker Books 2009) and Deep Justice in a Broken World (Zondervan 2008), and his articles have appeared regionally or nationally in publications such as Charisma, Willow magazine,Relevant, Neue, Urban Faith, Pastors.com, Tri-State Voice, Christian Post,Charlotte Herald, Student Leadership Journal, Network Magazine, Next-Wave, and numerous websites.
- Columbia University Graduate School of Business, New York, NY
Institute for Non-Profit Management, “Middle Management Program for Youth Service Organizations,” May 2003
- New York University School of Law, New York, NY
J.D., May 1999
Select Honors: Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar | National Moot Court Award | Eric Bender Public Service Prize
- New York University College of Arts and Science, New York, NY
B.A., magna cum laude, with honors in History, minors in Economics and Political Science, May 1995
Select Honors: Standard Bearer 1995 | Presidential Scholar | Phi Beta Kappa | President’s Service Award | Phi Alpha Theta
- Member, New York State Bar (2000)
- Licensed Minister, Abounding Grace Ministries (2001)
Founder and President, Del Rio Strategies, Inc.. New York, NY (since 2000)
- Advise community organizations on holistic youth and community development, coalition building, urban affairs, community relations, new media strategies, and youth culture. Services include strategic planning, program design, corporate formation, executive coaching, leadership development, and justice advocacy.
- Clients have included: World Vision; Bowery Mission; Urban Youth Workers Institute; American Bible Society; Student Venture; Billy Graham Association; The Legacy Center; Latino Pastoral Action Center; New Hope Community Development Corporation; and more.
- Outcomes include: holistic youth and community development in dozens of low-income communities; cultivated competencies and character in indigenous leaders; collaborative local and national networks; expanded best practice knowledge base.
Co-founder and Executive Director, 20/20 Vision for Schools. New York, NY (since 2008)
- Served as the lead architect of a comprehensive education reform initiative mobilizing community stakeholders to engage issues of educational inequity; conceived 20/20’s school engagement paradigm; principal spokesperson.
- Convened more than 2,500 leaders representing 250 community organizations; initiated an adopt-a-school campaign that has resulted in 195 school adoptions to date.
- Outcomes include: academic enrichment and correlated student achievement; mentor/mentee matches; beautification projects; public art installations; approximately 5,000 volunteer hours served; and more.
Co-founder and Executive Director, Community Solutions, Inc. New York, NY (1996-2006)
- Without start-up money, space, equipment, or paid staff, led teams of low-income young people to launch and operate two youth centers in lower Manhattan that served up to 500 children and teens a year with after school and summer programs, including: academic enrichment, sports, performing and visual arts, character development, and leadership formation.
- Supervised the launch of Chain Reaction as a national community service initiative in a dozen cities.
- Outcomes included: four generations of homegrown leaders; improved graduation rates, academic performance, college admissions and completion; job readiness and placements; more than 15,000 volunteer hours served.
Operations Director, Northeast Clergy Group. New York, NY (2001-2003)
- Helped establish the Ground Zero Clergy Task Force as a grassroots response to 9/11 that provided coordinated clergy support, financial assistance, and advocacy for families affected by the attacks; grew to include 250 regional ministers and crossed denominational lines.
- Advocated for the creation of the Clergy Crisis Responders program at the Mayor’s Office; designed and managed online resource database for 9/11 relief providers; organized bilingual critical incidence and post traumatic stress training, support groups, and more.
- Produced special events including the 9/11 Anniversary Tribute to Grace and Hope (9/11/02) at Madison Square Garden, The United Prayer Vigil (9/16/01) less than one mile from Ground Zero, and others.
Litigation Associate, Dewey Ballantine LLP, New York, NY (1999 – 2001)
- Negotiated an unprecedented offer from a leading New York law firm to work as an attorney part-time following law school in order to fulfill public service commitments.
- Practiced in the litigation section on various matters including patent infringement, securities, and employment cases.
- Managed three pro bono clients and resigned in order to work full-time on 9/11 related relief efforts.
Teaching and Training Experience
- Adjunct Professor, Fuller Youth Institute/Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, CA (since 2008)
- Adjunct Professor and Lecturer, Nyack College/Alliance Theological Seminary, New York, NY (since 2004)
- Adjunct Professor, City Vision College, Boston, MA (since 2011)
- Curriculum Writer and Trainer, Urban Youth Workers Institute, Santa Ana, CA (since 2004)
- New York City Coordinator and Guest Lecturer, DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative, Grand Rapids, MI (2009)
- Speaker and Trainer at conferences, universities, and churches (since 1987)
- High School and Middle School Curriculum Writer and Trainer, Generation Xcel (1996-2006)
Boards and Community Involvement
- Board Member, TechMission. Boston, MA (since 2010)
- Board Member, New York Faith and Justice. New York, NY (since 2008)
- National Advisory Council, Urban Youth Workers Institute. Los Angeles, CA (since 2005)
- National Ministry Council, National Network of Youth Ministries. San Diego, CA (since 2009)
- Founding Board Member, Chair, Community Solutions Inc. New York, NY (1996 – 2007)
- Founding Co-Chair, Coalition of Urban Youth Workers. New York, NY (2003 – 2007)
- Executive and Youth Committee Co-Chair, Greater NY Billy Graham Crusade. New York, NY (2004-2005)
- Founding Member, Elder, and Youth Pastor, Abounding Grace Ministries. New York, NY (1992 – 2004)
- Host Committees, assorted regional and national events (since 2000)
Maintains “Away with Words: In Pursuit of Authenticity” as a hybrid personal and professional weblog at JeremyDelRio.com, which also indexes more than fifty articles, videos, mp3s, and other multimedia downloads that have been published in dozens of magazines and websites. Contributed to four books, most recently The Justice Project (Baker Books 2009) and Deep Justice in a Broken World (Zondervan / Youth Specialties 2008).
Professional Awards and Honors
- “Legacy Award,” Concerts of Prayer Greater New York, September 2005
- “Surfacing Hispanic Leaders,” Prism magazine, September 2005
- Named one of “30 emerging voices that will lead the church in the next decade,” Charisma magazine, August 2005
- “Youth Worker of the Year,” Latino Pastoral Action Center, 2001
- “Citation of Merit,” Bronx Borough President, 2001
- “Union Square Award,” Fund for the City of New York, 2000