Community Organizer: Santa Maria
Abraham Melendrez is the son of immigrants from Guadalajara, Jalisco. He was born in Santa Maria, CA, but grew up as a child in Guadalajara for 10 years, where he learned firsthand about poverty and its effects on youth. When he moved back to Santa Maria he struggled with the language barrier but was inspired by his farm-working family to study hard in order to avoid the harsh conditions of picking strawberries. Growing up hearing stories about his grandmother losing her job for marching with Cesar Chavez in the 70s, he became involved with workers rights marches at a very young age and continues to value his diverse heritage. He became the first in his family to graduate college in 2016 when he received his BA in Psychology from the University of California Berkeley, and he is a proud alumnus of Santa Maria High and Allan Hancock College. Through his studies he also got the opportunity to live in different European countries where he studied French-Muslim relations, European Immigration History and personally experience the organized opposition to Brexit while interning as a non-profit consultant in London. He is excited to continue learning as he works to organize underrepresented communities in Santa Maria.