Sarait Mendoza 1Meet Sarait Mendoza- driven, humble, caring and fierce. She moved from the south suburbs to Gage Park in the summer before her freshman year, thinking that it would be the toughest year of her life. That’s not quite how it panned out.

Ignoring the negativity and fear that she heard from family members, Sarait became a champion of change. She met inspirational teachers at Gage Park High School who introduced her to opportunities that shaped her into a leader, a community developer and an asset to her school.

She was frustrated with the zero-tolerance policy of her school, as it was leading to high rate of suspensions and detentions, so she decided to take a stand against it. Along with her peers as part of the YOYCE organization, Sarait drafted and advocated for the SB100 bill in Springfield to limit the zero-tolerance policy in schools, and it finally passed the summer of 2015!

Her teacher, Tracy Heider, introduced her to the Mikva Club at her school and very soon Sarait was on her way to Iowa to have her first taste of electoral politics. Following that, she became a member of the Mikva Youth Action Council, where she’s making decisions on giving out grants to youth-led projects in schools across Chicago. Within the school, Sarait has logged countless service hours with Build On, and even traveled to Nicaragua last summer to build homes. She is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, and leads the school as a member of the student council.

In the words of her teacher, “Sarait Mendoza is one of those special people who touches the those around her. She is a role model for the students of Gage Park High School.”

Meet Sarait and other youth change-makers at our Annual Spring Benefit. Buy your ticket here: