My Name is Theresa Alfonso Mendez. I come from a very large Native American Family and was raised on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana and the Cocopah Reservation of Arizona. Being from such a large family I was blessed learn how to celebrate life in all the good and bad. I was raised in a community of everyone taking care of each other. This has been a big part of my teaching of young children as well as to why I feel a need to give back to what was given to me. .. After Graduating High school I decided to broaden my horizons and took a roadtrip to Seattle to find my purpose and found that it was working with children. I have been a preschool and B/A school/summer Program teacher and director for over 35 years now and still discover something new from children every day(I think that they are the fountain of youth!).

My favorite part of my journey has been being a mom. This special job has taught me Patience, unconditional love, reasonable expectations, gratitude, and living in the moment. I have used those skills to make every moment count in my daily interactions. I am multilingual in Spanish, English, and can understand some of my indigenous dialects. My goal is to give children the social and emotional tools to be successful in life as lifelong learners. I love to listen to Jill Scott, Jenny Rivera, Prince and Pow wow music. During my free time I like to cook, read poetry and celebrate with my children, whom are 25 and 26 years old. I became a Grandmother to Athena JayLynn in 2019 and have been able to see the fruit of my own healing from Generational Trauma. I hope to spend my next 50 years engaged with children and their SEL growth and continue to work on Social justice and Anti Biased work.