This interview is part of the Project LRN: Evanston Interviews series, which will be featured in the new book Say It Forward compiled and edited by Voice of Witness. It was recorded August 26, 2014, and is presented here in full.
At the age of five Rebeca Mendoza, with her mother, immigrated from Mexico City, Mexico to Evanston, Illinois. She attended Washington Elementary, Nichols Middle School, and graduated from Evanston Township High School. As a lifelong Evanstonian she is very aware of its identity and struggles; engaging in efforts professionally and as a volunteer to improve the lives of its residents. After graduating from the University of Michigan, Rebeca returned to Evanston and worked for organizations such as Family Focus Inc., McGaw YMCA, Y.O.U., and Evanston/Skokie School District 65.
A graduate of Leadership Evanston, Rebeca contributed as a board member for the Evanston Coalition for Latino Residents for 8 years, as a mentor for Project Soar for 5 years, and served on the Evanston Arts Council for 3 years. She continues to volunteer by organizing and participating in several service events. She has strong ties to educational programs and advocacy efforts to close the achievement gap in Evanston’s public schools. In addition to her professional and volunteer works, Rebeca is the proud mother of a 10 year old girl. who she loves sharing new experiences with while teaching social responsibility.