"Lesly Mendez, a first-year student at Arkansas Tech University, is a student leader active in addressing issues with immigration policies. During her high school career, she has worked closely with and organized grassroots efforts to advocate for the rights of immigrants, including efforts to mobilize residents in the surrounding community to support policies that would provide protection and/or resources for families that have been displaced or are seeking citizenship. She is currently working with fellow students to explore the possibility of creating a student-led organization for activism efforts within the local and global community."
Being the daughter of immigrant parents and the experiences that I have encountered at a young age, is what sparked my interest on social issues. I developed a strong passion to help and make change in my community. I have led several advocacy demonstrations regarding DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and injustices migrant children and families are facing at the border. I’ve engaged in meetings over the policy and education issues within the community. I’ve worked with an immigrant resource center, Arkansas United, where I canvassed, and phone banked for them. On campus, I am part of the Student Government Association and we canvass for students to register to vote. I am also taking an interdisciplinary, project-based learning course over human migration. The strategies I am applying to myself is how to communicate civilly and effectively with sensitive topics. Also, to start a network and bring ideas to strengthen advocacy efforts in the community. I love working with my community and wanting to bring change to it. The tremendous support that I receive from people amazes me. This is just beginning of my journey and I am to excited to see what the future holds for me.