Sylvia Mendoza

Writer | Editor | Educator | Speaker

United States

Writing, editing, or teaching, I believe in the power of the written word. Our stories can #empower, #enlighten, #educate and #entertain.

I enjoy covering education, women's issues, social justice, lifestyle, health and well-being, Latina influence on American culture, inspiring movers and shakers, activism, diversity, travel, and more.

My articles have appeared in Hispanic Outlook, Respect, Nike Organic Content, Baja Traveler, Access Health News, Legal Eagle, Uptown, OurCity San Diego, Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, Decor & Style, Kids' Wall Street News, and Hispanic, among other. My books include: "The Book of Latina Women: 150 Vidas (Lives) of Passion, Strength and Success" and "Sonia Sotomayor: A Biography" for young readers.

As president of Mendoza Communications, a writing and editing services company, I collaborate with authors to help them find their voice, tell their stories, and publish their work. Teaching Journalism and Creative Writing brings my love of the written word full circle as I witness the next generation of inspiring writers.

Being an advocate for women's rights and issues, I'm honored to have been selected a "Woman of Distinction" for my work highlighting gender issues, a thought leader in journalism by UC San Diego Extension, and one of “25 Influential Latina Leaders” invited to a private forum with Ms. Mazal Renford, Israeli delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.


SPJ "2022 Excellence in Journalism Awards"

Access Health News
Homeboy Industries: The Salvation of Artist Fabian Debora

2nd Place: Multicultural. When Fabian "Spade" Debora ran across Interstate 5 near his Boyle Heights home in Los Angeles, he was hallucinating, paranoid, high on meth amphetamine, convinced the cops were chasing him. He ran from the demons-addiction, abandonment, neglect, domestic violence and gang affiliation--right back to the sanctuary of Homeboy Industries.

Respect: A Diversity Newsletter from the New Jersey State Bar Foundation
Asian Americans Experience Pandemic with a Side of Hate

1st Place: Crime/Courts. When the coronavirus pandemic grew rampant in 2020, it took a toll on more than just health. Another problem surfaced—hate crimes against Asian Americans, who were wrongly being blamed for the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States because the origin of the virus had been connected to Wuhan, China.

Feature Stories

U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Gun Safety

After the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 children and 7 adults were killed, 45 states enacted more than 350 gun safety laws. California leads the nation with over 100 gun safety laws on its books, followed closely by New Jersey, New York and Hawaii.

Double Burden on Black Farmers in America

Farming in the United States is a tough profession for anyone. You’re always at the mercy of Mother Nature for whether you have a good harvest or your crop is destroyed. The life is made even more difficult for Black farmers who have faced discrimination from the time of emancipation—a bias that still echoes today.

George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a Black man, was detained by police officers in Minneapolis. He had allegedly used counterfeit money to make a purchase at a convenience store. Within minutes, he was face down on the street.

Hispanic Outlook on Education
Dr. Julio Frenk: A University President Guided by the Ethical Mission of Public Health

In 2000, the president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, tapped Dr. Julio Frenk to join his administration as Federal Secretary of Health. Frenk had been a doctor and earned his Master of Public Health and a joint Ph.D. in Medical Care Organization and Sociology from the University of Michigan. He knew it was a huge opportunity, even though he had reservations. “I did not belong.”

Access Health News
Generations of Activism: What One Woman Can Do

"The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them." ~Ida B. Wells Shedding light on injustice was a way of life for activist Ida B. Wells. As an investigative journalist, she wrote of the horror of lynchings, indignities, and violence she witnessed against Black people.

Hispanic Outlook on Education
Check the Box

Race. Identity. Ethnicity. Nationality. When applying for jobs, housing, colleges, or taking surveys like the census, one is asked to check the box in terms of how one identifies oneself. How an individual chooses to identify is personal, but identifiers can also be placed on groups of people, causing misinterpretations, cries of racism and colonialism, and efforts to find an equitable place in this multicultural world.

Access Health News
Finding Mental Health Support is Like Walking a Tightrope for Black and Brown People

The exhaustion is real and goes deep. Shootings of unarmed Black and brown men and women by police officers forever change the lives of their families or close relations. But the ripple effect reaches the heart of communities. And sometimes, the emotional, mental and physical toll leaves individuals grappling with feelings of fear, anger, rage, grief, pain.

Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education
A Voice for the Voiceless

Decomposed bodies and broken bones lay in the desert. Playwright Josefina López broke down, unable to bear the thought that even in death, people were dehumanized and vilified.

Hispanic Outlook on Education
Serving Those Who Served Us: USC School of Social Work Reaching Military Vets and Families

When Army Sergeant Ernie D’Leon arrived home from Vietnam, complete with a Purple Star for his heroic efforts, he had hoped to ease into civilian life and bury his combat experience. The first question his girlfriend asked, however, was, “Did you kill anyone?” The question jolted him into a reality he was not prepared for.

Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education
Women in Mariachi Music: An Untamed Spirit

“I’ve traveled the world, earned degrees--even from Harvard–but my heart brings me back to this.” ~Mariachi player Dr. Leonor Xochitl Pérez

Profiles: Inspirational Movers & Shakers

Dr. Luis Dorado: Putting "Community" Back Into Community College

After 10 years of building relationships with community colleges, Dorado knew where to target his energies. “It made me realize I wanted to do more for my community, mi gente. I needed to pick up the torch for the younger generation.”

Hispanic Outlook on Education
Dr. Justin Lonon: Busting Barriers and Building Community

When Justin Lonon came to Dallas 25 years ago and landed an internship in the mayor’s office, he worked his way up and learned about building community. The street-level problem solving that was part of his job turned out to be his sweet spot. “I like the ability to help people,” Lonon said. When his outreach involved Dallas College, he fell in love with its mission—to transform lives and communities through higher education.

Hispanic Outlook on Education
Deputy Chancellor Dr. Daisy Gonzales: Community College Engagement is an Act of Love

Up until about 10 years ago, Dr. Daisy Gonzales, Deputy Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, couldn’t answer questions about her success and upbringing without crying. In and out of foster care since she was two, a group leader told her she would have three choices: she’d end up dead, pregnant or in prison by the age of 16. “I remember thinking ‘those can’t be my only options,’” Gonzales said.

Hispanic Outlook on Education
President Madeline Pumariega Comes Home

Born and raised in Hialeah, Madeline Pumariega found her passion for education as a student athlete at Miami Dade College (MDC) nearly 30 years ago. She worked as an administrator there for 20 years. And this year she returned as the first female president of the college.

Hispanic Outlook in Education
A Voice At The Table

In 1850, Jose Angel Navarro graduated as the first Latino alumnus of Harvard Law School. According to historian Dr. Daniel Coquillette, author of "On the Battlefield of Merit: Harvard Law School, the First Century," Navarro returned to San Antonio after graduation and advocated for the downtrodden and exploited in Texas.

Hispanic Outlook on Education
Dora De Larios: The Fierce, The Warrior, The Artist

Working with clay, steel, wood, sculpture or plastic, Dora De Larios features opposing forces in her art including mythological creatures and goddesses at once whimsical and fierce, Japanese and Mexican influences, Catholic and pagan, and the mystical and powerful feminine form.

Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education
Nely Galan, Latina Dynamo

2015 2nd Place Excellence in Journalism Award--Magazine/ Profile. “I was the only Latina entrepreneur and I had to get over the feeling of being ‘less than.’"

Kids Wall Street News
Keeping a Promise

The students were 6 when a stranger walked into their classroom and promised she would pay for them to attend the college of their choice if they stayed in school and graduated.

Hispanic Magazine
Luis Valdez, A Trailblazer

About Teatro Campesino: "In some instances we got jailed, in some instances we got our asses kicked, but we did tour across the country." ~Luis Valdez


Hispanic Outlook on Education
Immersion into Mexican Culture and Law

St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio offers deeper understanding of law in Guadalajara during intensive, insightful one-week immersion.

Hispanic Outlook on Education
Helping Hispanic Students Cope with Mental Health Issues

For Dr. Eugenia Curet, suicide among students is a disturbing fact of college life. The spiral of hopelessness can go undetected. Students feel isolated and alone, afraid and overwhelmed until the pressure gets to be too much.

Hispanic Outlook on Education
Picasso, Pride and Deeper Purpose

Owners of the Spain-based Remedios Medina Collection—an expansive collection of works of art by Picasso--wanted to bring an exhibit to Texas, with Dallas or Austin on their radar. “As usual,” educator Sylvia Sutton said. “Then I thought, why not here? Why not the South Side?” She convinced them, and the exhibition flourished at Texas A&M University, San Antonio.

Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education
Student Leaders Take Flight

U.S. Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program Takes High School Students Under Its Wing & Builds College Leaders


Baja Traveler
The Resort at Pedregal

Take a luxurious escape to the Resort at Pedregal in beautiful Baja, California

Baja Traveler
Ensenada Wine Festivals

In the small town of Ensenada, the best and grandest elements of Baja converge. Vineyards, sea and culinary treasures, and priceless resources make this land a place worth visiting to witness the culture of winemaking at its finest.


Books I've Edited