Taylor Mendez has dedicated 24 years of her career to systemic change for greater social justice, working with historically disenfranchised communities in Boston, throughout Connecticut and nationally. Prior to joining New Haven Promise, she served as the Youth Service Director for the City of New Haven under former mayor John DeStefano, managing a $1.8-million budget for the City of New Haven. She also has experience with non-profits and youth development institutions focused on community organizing, policy advocacy and strategic planning.
She has served on city, state and national governmental committees including as a founding member of the “Thrive and Five” Early Education Initiative in Boston and additional programs to address out-of-school youth, struggling students and special education reform.
Her work over the years focuses on supporting adults and youth from the inner city low-income communities to successfully change laws, processes and structures. Her efforts with low-income communities resulted in more than $56 million in state funds to support new programs advocated by the organizing groups she led in the areas of health and education. Where a void existed to allow low-income people of color to exert their rights and power, she led the establishment of new non-profits or initiatives as the founding Executive Director or core founding Board member.
Raised in New Haven, Conn., from a formally undocumented immigrant family, Taylor Mendez is a first-generation graduate of Boston College with a Bachelor’s in Psychology, focused on Violence Prevention, Youth and Human Development in U.S. cities and throughout the Americas. She also holds her Master’s from Harvard University’s School of Education in Administration, Social Policy and Planning.
Taylor Mendez’s committee work will be focused on the child sessions at PromiseNet 2014.