Azai Mendez in the halls of El Rancho High School. (Photo by Daniela Cortez)

Features

Sophomore Azai Mendez re-innovates the clubs of El Rancho High School

Azai Mendez is on a mission to add more clubs to El Rancho High School and revamp the quality of extracurriculars students partake in.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/danielacortez06/" target="_self">Daniela Cortez</a>

Daniela Cortez

December 9, 2022
Sophomore Azai Mendez strives to create change at El Rancho High School one club at a time. Mendez, who is originally from East Los Angeles, is an extroverted and outgoing student who values communication and is driven by passion.

Mendez came to El Rancho in his freshman year and said at first, he viewed the school as “underfunded and unwelcoming” but as time grew he changed his perspective, seeing that there was a “chance for change.” Mendez knew that he was the perfect person to help lead great change within the school.

As someone who values communication, Mendez is the vice president of the American Sign Language Club and the Teen Court Club. He said he joins clubs as a way of expanding communication with others and gaining knowledge of the American Judicial system which he believes is imperative to society.

On top of the two clubs that Mendez already runs, he is in the process of furthering his mission to create real change within El Rancho by creating “The Mendez Project” which already has provided the school with A.S.L. and Teen Court Club.

“The Mendez Project” is a club conglomeration that will contain two existing clubs, A.S.L. and Teen Court, and many more clubs that will come to the school next year. The conglomeration is still unofficial as it is in the process of being created and approved but there are high hopes that it will be launched in the upcoming school year. Economics teacher David Retana is the adviser for this project.

“It will be one of the most influential clubs yet with further connections to a great majority of the clubs in El Rancho High,” Mendez said. “The Mendez Project” is expected to be a grand change for the school.

Mendez is doing something rare at El Rancho High — he is using his passion to empower others. His efforts to further implement a college-ready community show Mendez to be a goal-oriented student that is willing to do whatever it takes to not only help himself succeed but his peers as well.

“I want to leave a positive legacy under my name, as well as a positive community,” Mendez said.

In the next school year, Mendez will be in 11th grade and with only two years left of high school, he hopes to make a mark on the school and community, and leave an ever-lasting change.

Other than the great impact that Mendez is making on El Rancho, he reminds us that he is like any other teenager. His hobbies include binge-watching films and shows, and learning French to one day achieve his goal of becoming a polyglot.

“​​I have plans of getting my real estate license as well to push my career into business, in order to open a foundation that focuses on medical research as well as providing medical care to communities in need,” Mendez said.

Through the steps he is taking at El Rancho, he is closer to his ultimate goal of helping communities in need.

He hopes his enactment for change will be an inspiration to many, as he encourages others to join his movement.