Two alumni join the Community Foundation for Monterey County

March 17, 2021

By Tatiana Olivera

Two CSUMB alumni, Adriana Melgoza and Patricia Cruz, have joined the Community Foundation for Monterey County. The foundation has economically supported the county for over 75 years, and in 2020, it granted a record $27 million to the community.

Adriana Melgoza

Adriana Melgoza

Melgoza is a human communications alumna with an emphasis in ethical professional responsibility. She is no stranger to the foundation, as she participated in its leadership and training programs when she was a teenager. She also graduated from the foundation’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence LEAD (Leadership, Education, and Development) program for emerging nonprofit leaders.

Melgoza joined the foundation’s board of directors due to her strong ties to the foundation and her significant involvement in the community. Not only is she an elected board member of the Castroville Community Services District, but she is also a member of the English Learner Advisory Committee, representing North Monterey County High School.

“Coming back as a board member brings me such joy to be able to give back to a foundation that has helped me build my skills,” Melgoza said.

She is also the founder and organizer of the Monterey County Rapid Response Team, advisor to the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice and the Immigrant Defense Advocates, board member of the Castroville Coalition, and vice chair of the North Monterey County League of United Latin American Citizens.

“I look forward to being part of efforts to lift our nonprofits and community,” Melgoza said. “I am also very excited the foundation is working on bringing more diversity and equity to their work, staff, board, and services.”

Patricia Cruz

Patricia Cruz

Cruz, a human communications and Master of Business Administration alumna, joined the foundation’s Siembra Latinos Fund Advisory Board. The goal of the Siembra Latinos Fund is to provide funding from Latinos to Latinos in Monterey County. “Siembra” means “to sow,” and the advisory board aims to grow and establish more opportunities for local Latinos.

The foundation chose Cruz for her strong marketing background and deep involvement in the community. She previously held positions at Telemundo 23, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the City of Soledad. Currently, she is working as a bilingual energy public engagement associate at Central Coast Community Energy.