Johnny Mendez has been involved with Youth Leadership Institute for six years: three as a volunteer adult ally and he is coming up on his third year as staff. He has been involved in youth leadership and development since his teenage years and has continued this passion throughout his adult career with mentoring, teaching, and supporting young people as they began to process the social justice issues affecting their communities. In his time with YLI, he has partnered with youth throughout Fresno and Madera County addressing root causes to community issues and identifying sustainable solutions that elevate their voices and create positive change. He strongly believes that youth are both the catalysts and creators of needed change in our cities.
Johnny works with young people in the rural areas of Fresno County to establish Youth Commissions that will elevate youth voice on a city-wide scale and create policies that support youth. In Madera County, he lead Student Advocacy Councils at two Madera high schools that address issues affecting school culture. He also is coordinating the Madera City-Wide Youth Commission that sits as an advisory board to the Madera City Council to integrate youth voice in the local policy-making process.
His passions are youth, community, music, and family. When not at work he loves to spend his time with his own family and kids.