Meet our Advisory Board Member - Gabby Mendez
I was born in Mexico City in 1988, at the age of 10 my parents, brother and I emigrated to Hendersonville NC. At the age of 16, I became a mother, and two years later, I had my second child. After being married for 7 years, my ex-husband and I decided to end the marriage. My parents always told me "The only thing impossible is what you don't try" so I decided to start working on my passions and dreams. One of my passions is cooking, and with a lot of work and effort I became chef of a prestigious restaurant at Hendersonville Season's Restaurant. After 8 years of working in restaurants as a chef, I decided it was time to turn the page and make another of my passions come true. I had the opportunity to work for a non-profit organization in Henderson County. The foundation helps victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. wanted to make a difference in the community by helping and I was the main advocate. I helped more than 300 women get out of abuse and restore their lives. I received many hours of training to do this kind of work and many studies on the laws and rights of the Latino community. After 3 years in that organization, I got the great opportunity to continue helping the Latino community, I was hired as Assistant to the Executive Director of Latino Advocate Coalition of Henderson County better known as the Hendersonville Community Center.
I now have responsibility for the 3 main departments: Advocacy, Education and Mental Health. Together with Executive Director Sergio Fernandez, we are creating different resources for our Latino community. For example, last year we helped register Latinos to vote in elections. I am now working hand in hand with Pardee Hospital to keep Latinos informed about COVID-19 virus vaccines, and we help get appointments for not only the Henderson County community but nearby. I go to the Pardee clinic or mobile clinic to work as an interpreter. We already help nearly 200+ people get the vaccine. Also, in the advocacy program, we are talking to North Governor Carolina Roy Cooper to let him know the needs of the Latino community.
The struggle and work will continue for my Latino community."