Who We Are

Riordan Programs Staff


Roxanne Mendez 
Executive Director

Roxanne Mendez is the fifth executive director of the Riordan Programs. She has been with the Riordan Programs since 2007, first serving as associate director. In addition, she is a certified career management coach. Roxanne was the 2017 recipient of the Women of Philanthropy Award for her role in changing the community for the better, by Comerica Bank and the Los Angeles Lakers. Mendez was selected in 2016 as part of the Next Generation Latino Philanthropy Leaders Program by Hispanics in Philanthropy. In 2015, she was a member of Leadership California for its California Issues & Trends Program, a prestigious, year-long program for women leaders from across the state of California. Her previous experience includes working in college outreach at the University of Southern California and as a grant consultant, establishing a pre-medical school program for underrepresented populations. Roxanne is a graduate of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with a B.S. in business administration. She received her graduate degree from the University of Southern California.

Michelle Jones
Senior Assistant Director of Programs

Michelle Jones is the senior assistant director of the Riordan Programs and brings to the team a strong background in nonprofit management, counseling and youth-focused program development.

Prior to joining Riordan, Michelle served as the Youth Programs Manager for the Children's Defense Fund-California (CDF-CA). There she led the recruitment, advocacy, development, engagement and retention of the CDF Beat the Odds® Scholarship program, providing on-going life coaching and mentorship for scholarship recipients, organizing college and career readiness workshops and activities, identifying resources to help support students and their families, and facilitating the production of finalist documentaries.

Before joining CDF-CA, Michelle worked as a counselor and mental health specialist in Washington, D.C., where she provided preventative, intervention, and crisis counseling services to at-risk populations. Michelle has also successfully organized academic and community enrichment programs that help high school and college-aged youth harness the talent, skills and confidence necessary to realize their full potential and become healthy, productive adults.

Michelle is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, with a Bachelor of Early and Elementary Education and earned her Masters of Arts in Community Agency Counseling from Hampton University. A native of Virginia, Michelle lives in Los Angeles and is a committed advocate of living a healthy and active lifestyle.

Rocio Arellano
Assistant Director of Programs
Rocio Arellano has been an advocate for higher education since her initial involvement as a participant with Cal State LA Upward Bound. Growing up in an underserved community, Rocio sought education as a way to obtain opportunities and believes in the importance of a strong professional foundation to further develop young leaders. Her previous experience includes working directly with youth through educational programs in Watts, Bell Gardens, East Los Angeles and El Sereno as the Educational Counselor with TELACU Upward Bound. In her current role, she works to increase the resources available to our Riordan Scholars. Rocio is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

Arcelia Flores
Program Manager
Arceila Flores is a College to Career Alumna ('15) who was actively involved with the Riordan Programs throughout her undergraduate career. During her time as a volunteer, she gained an insight of what it took for the Riordan Programs to execute a program and became inspired to empower her community. Flores was interested to learn more about the education field and had the opportunity to intern for a bilingual education school in Spain. Education has always been important to her while growing up in an underserved community, she hopes to continue to expand the Riordan Programs to students who are growing up with the same aspirations. She currently holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Business Economics from the University of California, Merced and hopes to pursue an MBA in the future.