Teresa Bendito is a community organizer and co‐founder of Parque Padrinos, a grassroots community organization that leads park advocacy, relationship building, and culturally relevant outdoor experiences in South Wenatchee, Washington. Teresa is currently completing an accounting degree at Central Washington University. The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Teresa’s parents instilled in her the importance of civic engagement and public service, and she’s served in a variety of leadership roles at organizations in her community, including the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, the Community for the Advancement of Family Education (CAFÉ), the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, and The Trust for Public Land.
Teresa is the recipient of several honors and awards, including the Forward Award from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition and the Our Valley, Our Future’s “One Community Award” in recognition of her role in co‐founding Parque Padrinos, advancing a community vision for a neighborhood park renovation in her neighborhood, and collaborating with others to break down institutional and cultural barriers in Wenatchee. Teresa is passionate about leveraging diversity, placemaking, and civic engagement activities to address bigger issues that her community faces.