Unyielding Spirit: Lucia Mendez’s Path to Impact as Our Volunteer UI/UX & Media Designer

Designing Her Destiny

In the bustling world of UI/UX and media design, stories of determination and resilience often go unnoticed. Today, we shine the spotlight on Lucia Mendez, a volunteer UI/UX and Media Designer at our organization, whose journey from Baja California to becoming a first-generation college graduate is nothing short of inspiring.

Lucia’s early life in Baja was steeped in vibrant colors and creative inspiration, thanks to her grandmother’s sewing room. As a child, Lucia would watch her grandmother sew, mesmerized by the different fabrics, colors, and details. This early exposure sparked her passion for design and color. However, Lucia’s aspirations extended beyond fashion; she was driven by a deeper desire to help others.

A Shift to Impactful Design

Initially pursuing a career in fashion design, Lucia soon realized that her true calling lay in a different kind of design—one that could make a tangible difference in people’s lives. She transitioned into branding and, eventually, UI/UX design, where she could blend her creative talents with her desire to provide meaningful assistance to those in need.

Breaking Barriers as a First-Generation College Student

As a first-generation college student, Lucia faced numerous challenges. “Nobody in my family had ever gone to college. Everybody thought I was crazy,” she recalls. Despite the lack of guidance and support, Lucia fought to achieve her dreams. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, navigating the complex process of school applications and relocations on her own. Moving to San Francisco was a pivotal moment, marked by fear and uncertainty. “Sometimes you just have to do it, even if you’re scared,” she shares, reflecting on her early days in a new city.

“Just keep going, even though you might be the only one.

A Journey of Self-Reliance

Lucia’s journey was not without its struggles. The absence of a mentor meant she had to rely on her inner strength and determination. “I didn’t have a role model to follow. It was just me,” she says. Yet, this only fueled her drive to succeed. She often drew inspiration from her younger self, envisioning the dreams and aspirations of her eight-year-old self, ensuring she would never give up on those dreams.

Achievements and Pride: Fulfilling Promises to Herself

One of Lucia’s proudest accomplishments is fulfilling her promises to herself—earning her degrees and pushing through challenges despite the odds. Her resilience and determination are testaments to her character. “I’m mainly proud of myself for not giving up,” she says, a sentiment that resonates deeply with anyone facing their own battles. Each milestone she achieved, from her bachelor’s to her master’s degree, represents academic success and a victory over doubt and adversity. Lucia’s journey is a beacon of hope, illustrating that perseverance can turn dreams into reality.

Passion Beyond Professional Life: Hobbies and Core Values

Beyond her professional achievements, Lucia finds joy in painting & photography, a hobby that allows her to express her unique perspective of the world. Her core values of perseverance, helping others, and maintaining simplicity in life guide her daily actions. She believes in the power of not creating unnecessary complications and staying true to oneself.

Lighting the Way with Determination

Lucia’s experiences have shaped her into a strong, resilient individual driven by a desire to make a positive impact. Her advice to others, particularly first-generation students, is clear: “Just keep going, even though you might be the only one.”


Lucia Mendez’s story is a powerful reminder of the strength that lies within self-belief and resilience. Her journey from Baja California to becoming a key volunteer at Believe in Me inspires all, especially those who, like her, are forging their own paths in uncharted territories. Lucia’s dedication and passion continue to light the way for others, proving that anything is possible with determination and a little bit of courage.

Paul Smith's quote, “The shortest distance between two people is a story," resonates deeply with me. Sharing my story bridged the gap between us and highlighted the importance of connection. I know how isolating it can feel to have no one to lean on. This fuels my belief in kindness and respect, as we can never fully understand the hardships others face. I strive to embody the philosophy of stopping, listening, and being fully present in every interaction. Every person's unique narrative is a testament to their resilience and experiences.
My journey with Believe in Me is to create the first-generation app for college students to provide impactful solutions for future generations. This app represents more than a project; it's a mission to offer first-generation college students hope, guidance, and support. I aim to make a meaningful difference, ensuring they receive the help and encouragement they need to succeed.
Lucia Mendez
Volunteer UI/UX & Media Designer, Believe in Me

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