As the son of farmworking immigrants and a product of Santa Maria public schools, Abraham understands a lot of the challenges our students face today firsthand. As a community advocate first, his priorities are to give all children the highest quality education, increase parent engagement and improve student well being services.
Abraham Melendrez is the son of farmworking immigrants. He was born in Santa Maria and spent 9 years of his childhood in Mexico, where he learned firsthand about poverty and its detrimental effects on children. When he returned to Santa Maria as a child, he was inspired by his hard working community, amazing teachers, and by his parents, to study hard in order to expand his opportunities and avoid the harsh conditions faced in the fields. He is a proud product of local Santa Maria public schools including Miller Elementary, Fesler Jr. High, Santa Maria High, and Allan Hancock College.
Abraham understands a lot of the challenges our students face today firsthand. As a young child he struggled through learning a new language, but was supported by amazing teachers and staff from English learning programs. Like many young people, he also faced financial challenges that threatened his continuation in school, but caring educators encouraged him to stay in school and become the first in his family to earn a university degree (Psychology) from the University of California, Berkeley. With renewed vigor, he decided to come back home to Santa Maria, the community that made him, to work as a community organizer with a local non-profit.
In the last two years, Abraham Melendrez has continued to pay it forward and advocate for his community. He became involved with the Santa Maria Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Violence, advocating for youth representation on the task force. He has worked with other non-profit organizations to hold the first ever Santa Maria Youth Town Hall and was a member of the Community Organizers Committee for the CA Statewide Task Force on Child Poverty. Additionally, he was invited to the Harvard Graduate School of Education to present his work on youth violence, representation, and activism — an opportunity that allowed him to take five Santa Maria students to Harvard. Currently he organizes a committee of around 30 young community leaders, chairs the North County Coalition (a coalition of faith, non-profit and labor organizations), and is on the board of the Santa Barbara Action Network (SBCAN). He is a proud member of the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Stakeholders Steering Collaboration Committee at the Santa Maria Bonita School District and the Santa Maria Community Policing Advisory Council.
As a community advocate first, his priorities are to give all children the highest quality education, increase parent engagement and improve student well being services.
Meaningful Parent Engagement
Join community leaders and support Abe!
Santa Maria Elementary Education Association
California School Employees Association (CSEA 129)
Democratic Party of Santa Barbara County
Central Coast Labor Council
Democratic Club of Santa Maria Valley
Cause Action Fund
Part-Time Faculty Association of Allan Hancock College
Santa Maria Joint Union High School District Governing Board President
Allan Hancock College Board of Trustees President & former Santa Maria City Council member
former Santa Maria City Council member
Dr. Victor Rios
award winning professor, Author and speaker on Educational Sociology