Manuela Villa Gomez
Mela (Manuela) Villa Gomez moved to East Boston from Medellin, Colombia as a child with her family. As a child she participated in sailing lessons at Piers Park Sailing Center where she developed a passion for accessible community programming and the Boston Harbor. She went on to attend Boston College where she graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies and a concentration in climate change and societal adaptation.
During her time in college, Mela got involved in creating a climate readiness curriculum for elementary age youth, and volunteered at local East Boston organizations. She interned at the Department of Neighborhood Development where she created a catalog of the City’s open spaces and community gardens. During her senior year of college she spent a semester interning for Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley’s district office where she grew her love for constituent work. Upon graduating from Boston College, she worked as a high school science teacher at Excel Academy Charter School for three years. During her time there she taught biology and biomedical innovations to about 100 students in grades 9 and 12. She led a women’s empowerment club and served as the 9th grade culture chair tasked with ensuring her students had a joyful and productive freshman year of high school.
Mela is excited to meet and work with the folks in her community and serve a neighborhood that has given her so much. In her free time, Mela enjoys watching reality TV, trying new recipes, and watching competitive surfing. In this past year she has gotten more involved in her community and volunteers her time trying to make youth programming more accessible and East Boston more environmentally just. She is also a beginner at running and is training for her first half marathon this fall!