The student who discovered his love for social service.
Social Studies teachers always emphasized that Leonel Esteban Riveros had a deep commitment to transforming Colombia. Ever since he was a child on the Gimnasio Moderno campus, he discovered his love and passion for social service and working with communities.
When he was in Tenth grade, he led the creation of the “ReconozcoGM” program, an initiative to break down barriers, generate bonds, learn about the dreams, joys, sadness and fears of the school’s collaborators.
Upon graduation, in 2016, he began his law degree at the Universidad Javeriana. Two years later, he decided to restart the project he had created in high school. This time he called it “Reconoser” and turned it into a laboratory of social ideas where they work with older adults, children, migrant population, convicted and post-penalty prisoners, mothers who are heads of households and victims and perpetrators of the armed conflict in the country. His main idea is to fulfill the dreams of all these people and tell their stories through digital media.
In almost three years of work, Fundación Reconoser has had an impact on more than 3,000 people. It is responsible for carrying out projects and activities focused on education, sense of belonging to the country and social transformation.
Reconoser has done the most work in Barrio Egipto, in the district of La Candelaria, in Bogotá. Together with the Breaking Borders Foundation, they have managed to reduce crime from 95% to 6% through the implementation of art, tourism and sports programs.
Leonel and his team have an ambitious project to reduce the gaps in education and inequality in Colombia. They dream that their model of foundation and laboratory of social ideas will be replicated in other cities.
Undoubtedly, Riveros is an alumnus who is succeeding. He has been able to follow the dictates of his soul and is fully convinced that to change Colombia you have to believe the story and have a lot of desire.