Native of Puerto Rico and first-generation college graduate. Ms. Melendez is a graduate of Assumption College where she obtained her Bachelors, Masters and Cags degrees. Worked at South High Community School for 12 years as Guidance Department Head and the Advanced Placement Coordinator. Her work at South High Community School includes the development of the initiative: L.E.A.P. which provides wraparound support for students through parental involvement, tutoring, mentoring and community partnerships.
Since the start of the initiative, the number of Latino students enrolled in AP courses has more than double from the previous years and the performance level have been on the rise since then putting South High on the map in the district and state level for Latino students performance on Advanced Placement exams.
Ms. Melendez has presented at many of the Collegeboard conferences on the LEAP initiative: Northeast Collegeboard Forum, Expanding AP Outreach in New England, Destino Universidad, Preparate Conference in Miami, and the AP Annual Conference, in Las Vegas. She has also served as a consultant to districts who want to improve Latino academic performance. She has traveled to New Orleans, New York and other cities in Massachusetts.
Presenter at Educator’s Writer Association on the topic of the May 2016 “The Quest of Quality and Equity”
Ms. Melendez has received many awards for her work with the Latino youth which include: 100 Puerto Ricans (Hunter College) (2013), Key of the City of Worcester (2013), Commonwealth of Mass-Hispanic Educator of the Year (2011), Youth Work Appreciation – Hispanic Achieving and Celebrating Excellence (2002), Community Leader – Worcester Latino Dollars for Scholars (2001)
Ms. Melendez is the founder of LatinosLEAP, a non-profit education consultant company that addresses the needs of districts, schools and communities to enhance the educational experience and outcomes of underrepresented students. She, alongside her family, also pastors a church in Providence, Rhode Island.