Dr. Ronald Tello, known by the Latino Community as “Ronaldo,” came to the U.S. from Lima, Peru, his hometown, in 2002 as a missionary. Through his service with the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry, he visited Latino prisoners at the Baylor’s Women Correctional Institution and started a movie club there; he coordinated the English-as-a-second-language program at St. Paul’s church which supported hundreds of Hispanic immigrants; he coached soccer at a predominantly Hispanic elementary school; he did pastoral visits to elderly patients at St. Francis Hospital, he visited migrant workers and organized empowering programs for them, he taught Sunday school and organized a large Hispanic youth group. At the Latin American Community Center, Mr. Tello coordinated the Workforce Development Program and provided career and job counseling to hundreds of Latinos; there, he also co-organized recruitment efforts and job fairs which facilitated the hiring of minorities.
Dr. Tello went back to school, became a board-certified licensed mental health therapist and obtained a Ph.D. in Counseling. As a mental health therapist, he provided much needed bilingual and bicultural counseling to children, youth, adults, and families, through his work at Jewish Family Services, Delaware Guidance, and the state of Delaware. He was also the co-chair of the Delaware Hispanic Commission’s Health and Social Services Subcommittee, where he lead the efforts to increase Hispanic Delawareans’ access to culturally competent mental health services. He continued advocating for this through his participation at the Arsht-Cannon Fund’s Latino Mental Health Workforce Program and through his company, Hispanic Personal Development LLC.
Dr. Tello is the director of the Del Hispano Magazine, a national award-winning free monthly publication which reaches 40,000 Latinos in the Delmarva Peninsula region and provide them with much needed information regarding education, health, financial empowerment, community events and resources. Dr. Tello, a communications major, has launched several other media initiatives aiming to empower the community, including an informational TV show called Hispano TV, the digital magazine at www.delhispano.com which has a strong social media presence with more than 12,000 local followers through www.facebook.com/delhispano, a special publication for Latino fathers, the Hispanic Education Guide, and the Hispanic Health Guide. He spearheads the organization of the bi-annual Delaware Hispanic Awards (www.premioshispanos.com ) which has given recognition to more than 200 Latino small businesses in the last 5 years.
Dr. Tello also became a life coach and motivational speaker in 2009. He facilities his own bilingual 2-day seminar “Breaking Through Your Barriers” which has impacted the lives of a great number of Latino individuals and their families. He also provides conferences to youth, couples, and adults, in themes regarding psychology, personal improvement, business coaching, diversity and spirituality. He has more than 180,000 followers on his life coach Facebook page www.facebook.com/ronaldotello , and maintains an active blog at www.ronaldotello.com
Dr. Tello has received several awards and recognitions. He received the Neumann University’s Community Service Award in 2010. He graduated from the SBA’s Emerging Leaders program and received the Hispanic Choice Award as Business Person of the Year in Philadelphia in 2014. He was inducted into the Hispanic Wall at Delaware Technical Community College in 2016 and received a Hispanic Heritage Month award by NASCAR in 2017. He received the Social Entrepreneur of the Year award from StartAfrica in 2018 and the Leadership Award from the Delaware Fatherhood & Family Coalition in 2019. In 2020, he was selected by Neumann University for the prestigious President’s Distinguished Alumni Award. He also received several recognitions from the Delaware Press Association and the National Federation of Press Women.
In 2018, he gathered a group of Hispanic community leaders and formed the Hispanic American Association of Delaware, a non-profit devoted to improve the life prospects of the Latinx community. In the absence of an executive director (because of the cost involved), Dr. Tello donates many hours every week to lead the organization so all the funds can go to finance programs such as GED classes, ESL classes, a support group for women, folkloric dance classes, and so on. In any given week in 2020, HAAD is serving approximately 140 Spanish-speaking residents of Delaware.
Being an immigrant who left his parents, siblings, relatives and friends in Peru to support the Latino community in Delaware, Dr. Tello says that one of his most special moments was the day he became an American citizen. Despite all the great things he does, Dr. Tello continues serving families and children directly as a family crisis therapist through William C. Lewis Elementary School which is located in one of the poorest and most dangerous areas of the City of Wilmington. He says it is a great honor to work in the zip code with the most presence of trauma in Delaware (according to the Adverse Childhood Experiences test statistics). When he is asked where he gets the time to do so much, he says: “all can be done, but with the help of others and not at the same time.” He now lives in New Castle County, Delaware, with his beloved wife Maria and their three gorgeous daughters Eva (8), Lucia (6), and Sarah (4).