Board Members of Hope Rising Foundation
Rev. Edmund Aku
The president and founder of this foundation, is a priest of the archdiocese of Owerri, Nigeria. After his seminary training and ordination, he continued his studies at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, completing his PhD in Theology in 1997. He also has a master’s degree in Educational Administration and Psychology from Fordham University, New York and Southern Connecticut University, New Haven, Connecticut. He taught for several years in the Connecticut State community colleges system and was adjunct lecturer in some other colleges in the State. He is currently the director of pastoral care with Catholic Health Services of the archdiocese of Miami, Florida.
A member of the board of directors of the foundation. He is a civil engineer graduate from the Autonomous University of EL Salvador. He obtained a Master’s degree in engineering from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He later completed graduate studies in Business Administration from the Catholic University of El Salvador. Up to 1983 when he moved to Miami Florida, he worked in El Salvador both as an engineer and business administrator. On arrival to Miami, he did graduate studies in Florida International University(FIU). Between 1983 and 2009 he worked as engineer in the department of transportation in Miami, Florida and in the private sector. Since retiring in 2009, he volunteers in various areas including the prisons, Baptist Hospital Kendall, and at St. Anne’s nursing home. He is married to Norma Chavez and they have three kids with ten grandchildren.
Dr. Ricardo Jose Sanchez-Rivers
Presently a Primary Care Physician at the Continucare Health Center in Miami Florida. Prior to this, he worked at Doctor's Medical Centers and Finlay Medical Centers, both also in Miami Florida, in the same capacity of a Primary care Physician. He studied Medicine at the Autonomous National University of Mexico. Before coming to practice in the United State, he practices medicine in various levels in Managua, Nicaragua from graduation 1970, including working as Assistant Medical Director at the Occidental Health Public Centers since 1997. He is the vice president of the foundation.
Ms. Elly Martin
The financial secretary of the foundation, is a retired State farm agency franchise owner. She started one of the agencies and worked there for 33 years before retiring. She is also a veteran of the United States Armed Forces, where she served during the Vietnam War. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Criminal Justice from California State University, Dominguez Hills. She currently volunteers at St. Anne’s Nursing Home and Residence and was active at St. Joachim Church, Miami for over 38 years. Ely is a mother of three and has seven grandchildren. She is married to Mr. Joel Martin.
Luz A. Cortes
Born in Puerto Rico, Luz moved to New York at the age of 7. In her professional life, she worked for 11 years as a bookkeeper in a manufacturing company in Brooklyn, New York. Luz later relocated to Miami where she worked for 29 years with a major cruise line. She was a supervisor at the Information Systems Department of this company for 15 years. Now retired, Luz lives with her 93 years old mother. She has a daughter and two grandchildren. She is interested in women empowerment, and devoted to the cause of youth and human development. She is an enthusiastic and dedicated member of Hope Rising board of directors.
Our Good Friend
Pfarrer Josef Nieberding
A good friend of our foundation and has always supported our every initiative. He financed our 2007 borehole project, and recently gave us money which we shall be using to start our upcoming projects. In June 2016, Fr. Nieberding celebrated 50 years in the priesthood. He is a priest of the Catholic diocese of Muenster, Germany. He is thankful to God for his being and his calling to serve God and God’s people. As a priest he has lived through joyful and stressful moments, he notes. Meeting people, ministering to them, enjoying their friendship, their appreciation and generosity, are the pleasant moments for him as a priest. It is sad to be the one to bring the sad news of untimely deaths to families. However, being there for the people, to comfort and console them in such hard times is one of the strengths of a priest, he affirms. He retired from administrative ministry in 2014, but is still actively providing priestly services in St. Marien Church in Delmenhorst, Germany. We are grateful for his trust, friendship and solidarity.