Charlene Mendoza is a native Tucsonan passionate about education, equity, representation, voice and choice. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University in 1995, she returned to Tucson and began working in charter schools as a teacher and later a Principal before becoming a founder of Arizona College Prep Academy in 2012. She is pursuing a PhD at the University of Arizona’s College of Education in Language, Reading & Culture in Adolescent Literature and Literacies, Curriculum, Culture & Social Justice. This connects her work with youth and teachers at ACPA and in the community with theory, research and practice. Charlene is committed to helping to create real and meaningful representation in government and a democracy that is truly reflective of our population. A particular passion is engaging youth and Latinas in civics and electoral politics. She serves on the boards of Las Adelitas AZ, Arizona List, Tucson Values Teachers, and the Arizona Charter Schools Association. Charlene and her husband, Michael Kedansky, a local physician, are raising their family in Tucson.