AboutOur PeopleNicole Méndez
SNF Paideia Fellow Nicole Mendez
Fellow, Class of 2025

Nicole Méndez

Criminology, Economics
New York, NY

Nicole is deeply passionate about supporting underprivileged communities. As an SNF Paideia Fellow, she hopes to use her understanding of dialogue across difference and civic engagement to strengthen her own community engagement efforts.

Nicole is a Criminology and English (Creative Writing Concentration) major from NYC interested in pursuing a J.D. Her interest in law stems from her desire to support underprivileged communities who don’t have access to quality legal representation. On campus, Nicole serves as a writing tutor and mentor at the Marks Family Center for Excellence in Writing, member of the Penn Undergraduate Criminology Society and research fellow at the Crime and Justice Policy Lab where she supports migrant survivors of gender-based violence and unaccompanied minors in Trinidad and Tobago. Nicole’s commitment to serving her community also extends beyond Penn’s campus. Currently, she helps with the commutation process for incarcerated people in Philadelphia, and she volunteers for the Petey Greene Program where she tutors diverted youth from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Juvenile Unit. She also serves as a volunteer for the Questbridge Program where she supports high school students applying to full ride scholarships and the Sonia and Celina Sotomayor Judicial Internship Program (SCS JIP) in NYC where she helps underprivileged high school students obtain state and federal judicial internships and access to other legal resources.

In the future, Nicole hopes to use SNF Paideia principles and tools to develop her own initiatives supporting underprivileged communities. For example, as a criminology student and creative writing student, she is excited at the possibility of someday facilitating creative writing groups for incarcerated people. As a Mexican woman, Nicole is also interested in developing initiatives that support Mexican women and children experiencing violence and poverty.