Agent of Change

Zaneta Encarnacion

Fri November 22, 2013 2:57pm

The holiday season is officially here. I love this season because everyone seems to carry a double dose of kindness. People make eye contact, smile, offer a warm greeting, and the world seems to fall under a soft light. I especially like the giving spirit that can invade even the Grinchiest of hearts.
Michelle Mendoza is a woman who carries this spirit and infectious smile the entire year! By trade, Mendoza is a realtor with Century 21 Award in Eastlake. But I honestly believe this is her Clark Kent persona because the numerous charitable activities she is involved in are sure to qualify her for superhero status.
Mendoza regularly volunteers mentoring youth and supporting teachers at Morse High School. She gathers friends and family together for informal park clean-ups in Eastlake and Otay Ranch. She is a regular volunteer with a ministry that feeds the homeless and provides diapers and baby clothes for pregnant women, and works with another non-profit to provide backpacks to poor children in the Philippines.
Recently, Mendoza learned the band instruments at Eastlake High and Middle schools were in poor shape due to their age. What did she do? She broke out her superhero cape to create Fund a Band Eastlake — a fundraising effort for instrument repair, competition fees and other band needs. You can join the efforts by finding them on Facebook or through the crowd source site Fundly (
Mendoza credits her religious faith for the energy and focus on giving back to others.
“I always remember the verse from James 2:26 — ‘Faith without good works is dead.’ The Lord blessed me, so it’s only right that I bless others.”
Mendoza has lived in Eastlake for 10 years with her husband Oliver Mendoza (he enjoys fishing, running, playing “Call of Duty”), daughter Kristen, 13, (her drummer girl, she is the section leader of her middle school advanced band and leader of the Impact 7/8 Bible Club), and son Dominic, 10, (he enjoys being a part of robotics, bowling, never leaves the house without his neon-green shades).
Mendoza loves the sense of community in Eastlake and the easy access to outdoor activities. She describes herself as a “proud resident of Eastlake” and plans to live in the community for years to come.
“As a parent and a realtor who specializes in selling and listing homes in our area, it is definitely a blessing to live in a community where we have great schools, beautiful parks, a variety of stores and restaurants.”
Zaneta Encarnacion is director of the Chula Vista Charitable Foundation.