Meet February’s Coalition Member of the Month: Reverend Dr. Enrique Lebrón
February’s Coalition Member of the Month is Reverend Dr. Enrique Lebrón, Pastor of Riverhead United Methodist Church, representing our Religious/Faith Sector since 2012. Pastor Lebrón was born in Puerto Rico and has served as a minister for over 34 years in Puerto Rico, Brooklyn, Queens, and other communities on Long Island. While a minister in Queens, Pastor Lebrón was very active in the local community coalition focused on the prevention of alcohol and drug abuse, and promoting safe communities. He has also spent many years mentoring, educating, and offering spiritual retreats for underprivileged youth from the New York City area, and continues to do so in his role as pastor in Riverhead. Through his family-centered philosophy, he offers English and Spanish Ministries to strengthen families and the Hispanic immigrant population, including young people.
Currently Pastor Lebrón is working with the coalition and with Sister Margaret Smyth of the North Fork Spanish Apostolate. He helps by translating information into Spanish and identifying outlets to disseminate the information and PSAs. Through his interaction with the Riverhead Clergy Council, Pastor Lebrón serves as liaison with other faith-based organizations and helps develop inter-faith activities. As a native Spanish speaker, he is a key contributor in identifying and reducing barriers to coalition participation as well as ensuring cultural competence. The Riverhead Methodist Church also provides AA and NA programs open to all community members.
Pastor Lebrón will be retiring in June. Riverhead Community Coalition Coordinator Kelly Miloski recently sat down with Pastor to talk about his experience with the coalition. Here are the highlights:
- Why did you get involved in the coalition?
“I got involved in the coalition so that I could educate young people about the risks and consequences of substance abuse so that they can make better decisions. I saw the coalition as an opportunity to make real change within the community. I support the program in the community and I love working with the coalition to reduce language barriers and promote ethnicity.”
- What is your favorite coalition activity?
“My favorite coalition activity is the Life Skills Training program at Pulaski Street School. Each month, I have the opportunity to go into a 6th grade classroom with high school peer leaders to teach lessons on self-esteem and decision-making, and work with the students to provide information and skills they need to make healthy decisions. I also assist with translating and delivering the lesson in Spanish, which I enjoy doing.”
- Name three words that best describe you.
“People person, community-orientated, educator.”
- Besides coalition work, what else do you like to do?
“I enjoy playing and listening to music. I enjoy playing the guitar, bass and piano.”
Interested in learning more about coalition membership? Contact Kelly Miloski at (631) 727-3722 ext. 106 or Kelly.Miloski@RiverheadCAP.org.