Melanie Cornejo was born in Mesa, Arizona. Melanie has lived her whole life in Arizona but makes frequent visits to see her family in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico. Puerto Peñasco is her second home and where her family’s business ‘Panaderia Cornejo’ is located. She is family oriented and had a close bond with her late grandfather Crispin, who spent his lifetime working with trains on the Sonoran railroad.

Melanie has been involved with volunteering since middle school, she was a member of National Honor Society. During this time, she was volunteering with the elderly population and Queen Creek Migrant Head Start center. During High School, she obtained her certification in Early Childhood Development from the East Valley Institute of Technology. Her academic achievements were recognized by National Technical Honor Society. Her first year at EVIT focused on early childhood philosophy, childhood development, career opportunities and issues in safety. The second year was focused on participating in a lab setting and focus on child guidance techniques, family dynamics, observation/assessment, advanced curriculum development and classroom management. Melanie’s second year position was being a Teacher Assistant for her ECE professor.

After graduating from Higley High School, Melanie continued her studies at Central Arizona College. While attending CAC, Melanie became a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor’s Society and was on the Dean’s List for four semesters.

While working on her Associate’s Degree, she worked with Chicanos Por La Causa. Melanie was a teacher at the Queen Creek Migrant Head Start. Here she implemented bilingual curriculum and enhanced her teaching skills. Her studies were completed when she transferred to Arizona State University, Down Town Phoenix Campus. While studying at ASU she completed her social service hours with JO Combs Head Start and was on the Dean’s List for spring 2020. Melanie Cornejo graduated cum laude from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Advocacy and Social Policy.

Amistades has welcomed her to work with like-minded professionals to dismantle social injustices and to serve the community. Melanie works with the following programs here at Amistades: Familia Adelante, CASA Code, Entre Mujeres, and Padres Comprometidos Ed Tech. Familia Adelante is centered around building cultural resilience and strong communication within the household. CASA Code provides middle school students with awareness of computer science in culturally relevant ways. Entre Mujeres is a support group for students to discuss academic achievement, personal development, mental health awareness, global awareness, and community organizing. Padres Comprometidos Ed Tech Helps support parent’s understanding of the rapid shift to distance learning and how to navigate different online platforms.