Template:TOCnestleft Gina Miriam Mendezwas born in San Jose California, she is a first generation Chicana. In 2004, her family move to Arizona for work and cheaper housing. She went to school in South Phoenix. In 2006, Gina was part of Arizona's first student walkouts at Cesar Chavez high school while students from schools across the country walked out to protest HR4437. It was the first time she experienced racism which later continued as SB1070 was introduced in Arizona.
In 2010, she attended South Mountain Community College. Gina wanted to learn why several of her friends and family members did not graduate from high school. She began to take sociology and psychology classes. Soon she realized that it was societal structures that impact first and second generation Mexican - Americans and Latinos and keeping them from succeeding.
Gina transferred to Arizona State University and continued her studies in Psychology and Sociology and join the Hispanic Honor Society. She became the President for HHS, she restructured the club and from and academic/professional organization, to a social justice student org that focused on issues within the Hispanic community and culture/identity. This began her organizing journey as she began to volunteer for economic justice for the Fight for $15 campaign.
She soon became an organizer with Arizona Center for Empowerment empowering youth to create a better Arizona through advocacy and civic engagement. Gina continues to work with students, youth and people who are ready to take action for political conscionusness.