Coming to the United States 15 years ago from her native Venezuela, Nelly Jiménez-Arévalo had every intention of staying just a year. “But I fell in love with Chester County the moment I came here,” she says.
So Jiménez-Arévalo settled in West Chester and started volunteering at the Maternal and Child Health Consortium. That eventually led to a full-time job and various key promotions. A lawyer in her home country, Jiménez-Arévalo has always been interested in human-rights advocacy. “When I came to this country, I realized I had an opportunity to really make a difference,” she says.
As MCHC’s community relations director and the head of its Kennett Square Family Center, Jiménez-Arévalo juggles a full slate of responsibilities, ranging from development and teaching to advocacy and outreach. She’s also a former president of the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition’s board of directors.
Many organizations have recognized Jiménez-Arévalo’s efforts. Just this year, she received the Hispanic Professional of the Year honor from the Greater Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Awards aside, Jiménez-Arévalo remains committed to providing support to hundreds of Chester County residents. “I have the best team working for me, and I’m lucky enough to be their leader,” she says.