Born and raised in Northwest Indiana, Jesse Mendez is no stranger when it comes to being involved in the community. As President of the Portage Soccer Club, Mendez strives to do more than coach.
“I started and played when I was young and now, it’s just rewarding to see the kids grow up,” said Mendez. “It’s all about seeing the smiles and seeing the kids develop relationships. It’s important to give back and have opportunities for kids. It keeps them out of trouble.”
Mendez is also an active member of Nativity of our Savior Parish and the Knights of Columbus. The Knights of Columbus are committed to making their community a better place, while supporting the local church. They strive to protect and enhance family life. Mendez believes it’s important to play a role in the community.
“Growing up, it was something we did-to be active in the church. Giving back is something I was taught when I was young,” said Mendez. “Through the Knights of Columbus, we give back and we help families in need or people who can’t afford to do things. We help those who don’t have the means to do it. Just by giving back, it’s very rewarding. It’s important to have the time to give back to the community.”
For Mendez, it’s all about seeing how making a difference affects those around him.
“As a part of the Portage Soccer Club, I like watching kids smile when they score or when they develop their own friendships and develop communication skills,” said Mendez. “It’s rewarding to watch the growth. We see kids who have helped out or coached in the past grow up. We see them play in their college careers. It’s good to see them come back and start over and do the same thing I did when I was young.”
Mendez is a proud resident of the Portage community and appreciates all of what his city has to offer. He likes the sense of a close community, and residents coming together for the greater good.
“I like the community and the involvement of people in the community. Growing up, we’ve always been a tight knit family, even with the friends I’ve made. People have always been great here,” said Mendez. “When push comes to shove and when people need help, it seems like the Northwest Indiana communities come together and help out in any ways needed. When it comes to rebuilding homes, or coming together, people help out.”
Mendez appreciates how Portage residents put differences aside and to unite to make a difference.
“In Northwest Indiana, it seems that people can come together and help out,” said Mendez. “It doesn't matter what race you are or whatever difference, it seems that everyone can come together, and that works out great.”