Melissa Perez

Program Specialist, Communications & Events
California AfterSchool Network
U.S.: California Hub | NORTH AMERICA

Melissa Perez serves as the Program Specialist of Communications and Events for the California AfterSchool Network (CAN). In this role, Melissa supports the policy and outreach activities by curating content and resources to increase the quality of opportunities for youth in California. Additionally, she leads various statewide events and convenings to support the field of expanded learning and its stakeholders. Melissa also supports a variety of communities of practice with statewide partners, and the governing board of the California AfterSchool Network known as the CAN Leadership Team.

Prior to joining CAN, Melissa served as the After School Education & Safety (ASES) Expanded Learning Supervisor at the Fullerton School District in southern CA. Melissa has 20+ years of experience in various capacities working in youth development and expanded learning programs. Melissa’s calling, supporting, and advocating for young people evolved into a passion for developing and advocating for Expanded Learning professionals. Melissa applies her Top Gallup Strengths; Achiever, Strategic, Belief, Discipline, Arranger, her effective communication and organizational skills and team-based mindset to support her work in Communication and Events for the out-of-school time field.

Melissa studied Child and Adolescent Development and Chicano/a Studies at CSU Fullerton. She is a Google Certified Educator, a former California School-Age Consortium (CalSAC) Trainer, a Mental-Health First-Aider, and a Trauma-Informed Advocate. Additionally, Melissa has served on state and county-wide expanded learning workgroup teams and currently serves on the BOOST Leadership Team. 

Melissa grew up in Los Angeles and Orange counties and currently lives in Santa Ana, CA with her husband and fur baby, Lola. She loves Chicana art, listens to diverse genres of music and loves to dance. Traveling and new experiences bring her much joy, along with quality time with loved ones.