Staff

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Nellie Mendoza, MSW
Director of Programs

Bio

 

 
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Brenna Bandstra, CHES
Office Manager, Program Office

Brenna has earned a Bachelors in Science majoring in Health Promotion/Community Health from the University of Texas at El Paso and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. Her academic background helped her identify gaps and barriers in access to mental health treatment for both individuals living with a condition and support for their family members. She has used this knowledge to strengthen community outreach efforts, motivate the volunteer base, and help with the daily operations of office management. Her responsibilities as a Program Specialist include coordinating NAMI Family and Friends and NAMI Provider. Her experience as a NAMI staff member has left her with an unwavering passion to be a source of support and compassion for individuals and families in the Paso del Norte region who are affected by a mental health condition. 

 
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Ruth Hill
Office Manager, Administrative & Advocacy Office

Ruth took the Family-to-Family class in 2000 has been a member of NAMI El Paso ever since.  She has a true appreciation of how much help and support NAMI gives the families of people living with a mental health condition and is proud to be working with such a fine organization. Ruth hopes she can offer others the same hope that NAMI gave her and her family.

 
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Tonie Duryee
Bookkeeper

Tonie was contracted to complete NAMI's bookkeeping responsibilities in April of 2017.  While not currently licensed, she has worked in the fields of professional accounting, forensic accounting and fraud examination.  Like many of us, Tonie has also lost family and friends to the struggle with a mental health condition. She strongly believes in the mission of NAMI El Paso and is happy to assist the organization in achieving its goals while remaining fiscally responsible.

 
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Yvette Foose, MPH
Volunteer/Intern Coordinator

Yvette earned a Masters in Public Health from the University of Texas at El Paso.  Her focus includes nutrition, physical activity, and an interest in mental health.  Through volunteering with different programs while in grad school, she realized the importance of volunteers and how they impact the sustainability of programs.  She will use her knowledge to direct and impact volunteers the same way NAMI is positively impacting the community. 

 

 
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Isidro Torres
Outreach and Fundraising Coordinator, Webmaster

Isidro Torres received his BA in Organizational and Corporate Communication from the University of Texas at El Paso. He began volunteering with NAMI El Paso since 2015 and was later asked to join the board by the NAMI El Paso board president at that time. He decided to step off the board late 2016 to become part of staff. Isidro is the Walk Manager for NAMIWalks El Paso. Through his work for NAMI El Paso by serving in various capacities, Isidro sees the importance of NAMI El Paso in the community and works to further the organization's mission and reach. 

 
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Denise ugA, MBA
Program Coordinator

Denise Uga received her MBA from University of Phoenix in 2009.  Her Bachelor's degree is in Business Management, also from University of Phoenix.  Previous work experience includes retail management and mental health.  Currently, she is a Program Coordinator for the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) in El Paso.  Denise has been with the nonprofit organization since 2013, coordinating classes and presentations to educate the community on mental health.  She coordinates these NAMI Signature Programs: In Our Own Voice, Parents & Teachers as Allies, and Peer-to-Peer.  Denise also serves as Vice Chair of the PNAC (Planning, Network, and Advisory Committee) at the local mental health authority.

 
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Alejandra Valdez, MRC CRC
Program Coordinator

Alejandra is a program coordinator for NAMI El Paso. She coordinates classes for parents of children and family members of adults who have expressed or have been formally diagnosed with a mental health condition. As a previous elementary school educator and now as a mastered rehabilitation counselor, she has many years of experience working with families and the community. Alejandra has a deep commitment and passion for the mental health sector as she has seen the great need and lack of sufficient and effective mental health support and treatments available to our community. She intends to continue to work in the non-profit sector for many years to come.

Interns

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YOlanda armendariz
Communication/PR Intern

Yolanda is a Communications/Public Relations Intern at NAMI El Paso. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Organizational and Corporate Communications with a minor in Health Promotions. She is Historian for UTEP’s Eta Sigma Gamma which is a Health Promotions honorary program and is an volunteer art instructor at the YMCA. Integrating public relations into health and medicine only benefits the community and as someone who believes in serving the community, Yolanda wants that to reflect in her work.

 
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Janessa Arredondo
Program assistant intern

Janessa Arredondo is a Program Assistant Intern with NAMI El Paso to provide focus on public outreaches in the residential area, event planning, interdisciplinary networking, data analysis and more. Janessa currently attends the University of Texas at El Paso in term of receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology accompanied by a minor in Criminal Justice with a focus in helping families living with mental health conditions live better lives. Janessa developed a strong faculty of commitment through her participation as a Child Care worker at an at-home daycare in order to bring healing, healthy perceptions, and the ability to strengthen relationships to many individuals. This experience has given her a profound appreciation for non-profit organizations such as NAMI, and the improvement for overall quality of life for those in need through the programs provided.