Nydia Menéndez, an attorney who established her own practice, the Menéndez Law Firm, more than 10 years ago, has been a volunteer leader with Hispanic Unity for more than 9 years, serving on the Board of Directors. Although she was born in New York, as a child she spent many years in Puerto Rico and upon her return to the United States, was not too familiar with the English language. She was shy and felt insecure as she was not able to communicate with her classmates as well, which ultimately influenced her performance in her honors classes. However, after several tutoring sessions, with a teacher who believed in her and later became a lifelong friend, Nydia persevered. Going against her family’s wishes, who at the time did not see the value a college degree, Nydia became the first to go to college in her family and later became an attorney.
Realizing how she was impacted by her own experience, Nydia felt she needed to help do something that could help make a difference for many generations to come. She says that her involvement with HUF is significant to her as it aligns with her love for helping others. She also serves on numerous other boards including Legal Aid Service, a HUF program partner for more than 20+ years.
“It’s in my DNA,” she said.
Feeling a deep connection to the staff, fellow Board members and the HUF Mission, Nydia says she will continue to be a part of the HUF family beyond her role on the Board of Directors. “It’s not about what I give – it’s about what I get from HUF,” she said. “Josie is so inspiring and when I look at the staff we have and their dedication to their clients, I know that everything is done with the highest degree of quality and respect. How could I not want to be a part of that?”