Program Specialist Educational Services, SSEL Orange County Lead
Orange County Department of Education
California Hub | USA
Manuel Mejia has been part of California’s System of Support for Expanded Learning (SSEL) since 2018, starting as an Early Learning Program Specialist and now serving as the Orange County SSEL Lead. The SSEL comprises the California Department of Education (CDE) staff, designated county leads/staff, and contracted technical assistance (TA) providers. As a TA provider, Manuel’s primary role is to develop tailored support services for high-quality expanded learning programs based on their specific needs. In his current position, he offers coaching, training, resource brokering, mentoring, consultation, and facilitation to enhance the development of his region. Leveraging his expertise in early learning, professional development, curriculum planning, and expanded learning, he contributes to the statewide transformation of California’s expanded learning programs and schools.
Outside of work, Manuel is a dedicated family man. He is a father to two girls, a loving husband, and a caring son. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Brandman University and previously worked as an Early Learning and Expanded Learning Coordinator at the Brea Olinda Unified School District. Manuel’s strong motivation stems from his desire to participate in the Certification Program for Compassionate System Master Practitioners. Through this program, he aims to acquire practical and meaningful tools essential for supporting the implementation of compassionate systems in addressing the needs of the evolving expanded learning field.
During his leisure time, Manuel cherishes precious moments with his 5-month-old and 3-year-old daughters, who serve as gentle reminders for him to embrace presence, authenticity, and love. He also enjoys spending quality time with his wife, Amairani, and his dog, Beastie, who daily exemplify the meaning of unconditional and fearless love.