Candidate Profile: Alexander Melendrez
Please share your qualifications and why you are interested in serving on the San Mateo County Community College District Board of Trustees.
When I was a fourteen-year-old high school student at Mills High School, I did horribly on the Practice SAT. I knew that it and other standardized tests, like AP exams, were not going to get me to where I needed to be. As a second generation, first time college student, I knew that community college would be my path to a better educational outcome.
I've had a full community college experience. I took a summer course in high school, commuted to class, led in the student government with Skyline College's Organization and Club Council, spent time on all three campuses, participated in the Honors Program, started Skyline's Model UN club, took remote courses before they were widely available, borrowed textbooks from the library, and so much more. The unique experiences that Skyline College provided enabled my success as a student and later on in my career.
The San Mateo County Community College District has evolved in providing a wide range of resources to help students succeed. This includes the District's "Bridge the Gap" efforts to provide health services and transportation, address food insecurity, or-an issue close to my heart-mitigate the rising cost of housing in San Mateo County.
In my most recent, OP-ED, "The Promise of Free Community College" I speak about the passage of SB 893 for free & reduced college and how my efforts advocating for it comes from the roots of my SMCCCD experience. The bill "goes to the real heart of public education: lifting people out of poverty; helping students to shape their futures; creating careers that are both satisfying, and productive for their community."
The SMCCCD experience serves as a model for California, but there is more work to be done to meet students where they are & enable their educational goals. My time spent on the Chancellor's Search Committee has exposed me to the complexities the District faces in achieving this. My service on Peninsula Clean Energy's Citizens Advisory Committee, San Bruno's Parks & Recreation, my career in government & non-profit have largely centered around serving the public and meeting people where they are, in order to address their basic needs.
This has been most prevalent in my role as a local leader in affordable housing & my work at YIMBY Action addressing the underlying issues that have created an unaffordable California. As a Trustee, I would plan to utilize these unique experiences bridging the gaps between stability and success to serve our students and staff, as efficiently and equitably as possible.
I hope to be an SMCCCD Trustee because I am a product of the District who has experienced the success that community college can bring. I want to serve to unlock more futures for others, like the District did for me.
With my time as a transfer student, background, work experience and commitment to public service, it would be my honor to serve as a Trustee.