Learn more about Melissa Mendez, the Child Welfare Education Partnership Coordinator for the Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy.

Photo of Melissa Mendez

What is your job title, and what will you be doing?

I am the new Child Welfare Education Partnership Coordinator and will be working with and supporting our Title IV-E Child Welfare Consortium Partners. 

Tell us about your education and/or work experience prior to joining the MNCWTA.

I graduated with a degree in Family Studies from St Olaf College and received my MSW, specializing in Child Welfare and Social and Economic Development, from Washington University in St Louis, MO. I'm entering this position after almost 25 years of experience in child welfare practice and social work higher education settings, including roles at Children's Home Society and Family Services, the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare and the Social Work and Family Studies Department at St. Olaf College.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I really enjoy and appreciate opportunities to work alongside people, to support people in achieving their personal and professional goals, and to continue to be a lifelong learner.

What are you most passionate about professionally?

Working towards a more just society, being a part of work that involves collaboration, a strengths-based mindset, and innovation.

What are you most passionate about personally? 

I'm a mom to 3 three teens/young adults, we have a Bernedoodle named Juniper, and live in South Minneapolis. I love to be outside in all of the Minnesota seasons, spending time with my family and friends, and I have a passion for travel, podcasts, and learning about people!   

What are you surprisingly good at?

This is a fun question, but it stumped me...so I put this question out on my extended family chat...here's what people closest to me said, "making crepes, doing a Marcel the Shell impression, translating for stuffed animals and real animals, Latin dancing, and reading the room and saying the right thing in really difficult social situations".

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love spending time with my kids, walking my dog, reading, seeing movies in theaters, traveling, going to the Y, looking for fun places to stay on Airbnb.

What else should we know about you?

I love meeting new people and am excited to be joining you!