I would like to adjourn tonight’s meeting in memory of Naya Marie Rivera, as we join the world in mourning her tragic passing last week at the age of 33.
The Glee actress was born in Santa Clarita and attended Valencia High School. From an early age, she followed in the footsteps of her mother as a child model and later began an acclaimed career in the entertainment industry.
At age 4, Naya landed the role of Hillary Winston in the sitcom “The Royal Family” – a role that earned her a nomination for the Young Artist Award, an honor given by the Young Artist Association.
She went on to appear in numerous commercials and television shows in the 90s and 2000s and experienced a career breakthrough when she was cast as Santana Lopez on the smash hit “Glee” in 2009.
Although many fans were introduced to Naya for the first time when watching Glee, she was much more than a television actress. Naya also appeared in films, was a solo recording artist, acted on stage and was a published author.
Naya also dedicated her time to philanthropy and was involved in a number of organizations, including GLAAD, Stand Up to Cancer, The Trevor Project, The Elephant Project and The Sunshine Foundation.
Naya loved her family and on her last day she took her son for a boat ride on Lake Piru.
While the circumstances of Naya’s death are undoubtedly tragic, it speaks to who she was that her final moments were spent saving the life of her four-year-old son.
Our thoughts are with Naya’s son, Josey, as well as her parents and siblings, friends and fans around the world.