Melvin Noriega (Program Manager) joined CISLA in July 2021, bringing a decade of experience working in student services and educational nonprofits. Mr. Noriega will oversee five schools in Watts, where he will lead site staff, manage school partnerships, and develop programmatic offerings. His hope is to integrate with the community while creating strong relationships and building a positive culture.
Professionally, Mr. Noriega has achieved more than 3,400 hours of national service as an AmeriCorps Member and Project Leader for City Year Los Angeles. He also has much experience working directly with students. Most notably, he was a Senior Program Manager for Spark Los Angeles; a career and self-discovery organization that connected middle school students to working professionals for mentorship opportunities. He made an impact in five LAUSD schools spanning from Burbank Middle School in Highland Park to Bethune Middle School in South Los Angeles. The work was of much value to him, given that he depended on counselors for support as a first-generation college student. In 2020, Mr. Noriega worked through the pandemic as a Registrar for a KIPP charter elementary school near USC. His main responsibilities there were enrollment and attendance, but he also supported day-to-day operations.
Mr. Noriega's passion for education and social justice flourished at the University of California, Irvine, where, as a transfer student, he studied Psychology and Social Behavior. He grew up between Echo Park and MacArthur Park, in the Historic Filipinotown neighborhood of Central Los Angeles, but he has called Boyle Heights home for the last six years.