Born in the Bronx on April 16, 1964, to a Dominican father and Puerto Rican mother, Dr. Fernando Cabrera learned early in life the value of standing up for his community and working families. While pursuing his graduate studies in Virginia, Dr. Cabrera directed one of the most successful rehabilitation programs in the nation called New Life for Youth.
A man of experience, in 1988 Dr. Cabrera continued his work as a Substance Abuse Intervention/ Prevention counselor servicing most of the Bronx high schools and later became a bilingual school counselor at Walton High School, eventually creating the first Mental Health Counseling graduate program in New York State, at Mercy College. Working in the public school system has given him inside knowledge on how many public schools are failing our children. Dr. Cabrera received his Doctorate in Counseling from Argosy University and in the year 2000 became the program director for the graduate Counseling program at Mercy College which has tripled in size under his leadership.
A tireless community activist, Dr. Cabrera has worked in leadership positions since his early twenties. For the last four years, he has co-chaired the Hispanic-Jewish Relations Task Force for the Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion bringing communities together by working together; with projects such as “It is My Park” clean up day at St. James Park. Dr. Cabrera has also served as an active and effective member of Community Board 7. In recent years, Dr. Cabrera has lobbied the State Legislature to halt the reduction of funding for senior citizens, rehabilitation programs, and schools. Since 2007 he has worked to secure local jobs for local community members at the Kingsbridge Amory and led the largest March for Youth in the Bronx, advocating for the old Fordham Library to be turned over to the community as a Youth Dream Center. As a passionate worker for youth, Dr. Cabrera has partnered with DARE to launch the successful concert series at St. James Park, providing free first-class entertainment and a positive message for youth and adults in the area. When he sees something that needs to be done, he doesn’t wait for someone else to do it, he simply galvanizes people and resources to get the job done.
A man of faith, following his return to New York in 1988, Dr. Cabrera and his wife Elvia started a church called New Life Outreach International, a congregation which has grown to nearly 400 members. As a pastor, he has led his congregation toward community action against violence, implemented youth leadership programs, and offered free drug rehabilitation services and support groups, all without receiving a salary. He loves the Bronx and believes that the future is promising, but he also knows that we need strong leaders to guide and shape that future. He believes that if you put your work and passion where your faith is the results will come and his track record of accomplishments and vision for the future is testament to that.
A true friend of the environment, Dr. Cabrera is currently working on an innovative joint venture to create 80 apartments and community space, in a housing development project that will create one of the newest green buildings in the area. Dr. Cabrera is committed to working for every measure that brings better air quality to the Bronx, and brings relief to a full third of Bronx children suffering from asthma, while helping the overall environment.
A family man, Dr. Cabrera has been married to Elvia Cabrera, for 23 years. They have two wonderful children, Lissette Feliciano (28), who is married to youth leader Carlos Feliciano, and Joshua (19) who has worked with him to bring positive change to the Bronx and is currently studying at Columbia University. Councilmen Cabrera recently welcomed his first grandchild Zechariah Feliciano. For his excellence in public service, Fernando Cabrera has received numerous recognitions from organizations and government officials, including a Citation of Merit from both Bronx Borough Presidents Adolfo Carrion, and Fernando Ferrer,. as well as the Latin and African American Chaplain Organization,
Councilmen Cabrera often states that the major source of joy in his life is derived from his family and his community.