EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — KTSM 9 News is celebrating women throughout our communities that inspire, lead and forge the way for other women.
We asked viewers to send us the story of a woman they find remarkable. One of those women is Argelia Menendez, a former teacher who enjoys putting other people first.
“She is just selfless with everybody,” said her daughter, Vanessa Menendez.
Her former kindergarten students still carry the values and lessons she instilled during their time in her classroom.
“She usually would teach economically disadvantaged children,” Vanessa said. “She taught bilingual, so she taught most of the kids who had never gone anywhere or done anything. So she exposed them to that so she made them like her family.”
Menendez formed a bond with her students that continues today.
“I’m happy to say that I still keep in touch with my kinders who are already 50 years old,” Menendez said. “They still know where to call if they need something.”
Former students still reach out to her, asking for advice on dating to getting married to having issues with their own parents.
“They just follow her,” Vanessa said. “They invite her to weddings and graduations.”
Menendez cared for her students and provided a caring ear when they needed help, reaching out to her for help, such as when a student called her up after running away from home<11:33:39 >
“She called her in the middle of the night, from a payphone,” Vanessa said. “She picked her up at 10 o’clock at night and took her to the runaway shelter so she could be safe.”
And when she’s not giving former students advice or helping homeschool her grandchildren, Menendez is looking out for families in need.
“What I do now from home is adopt a family — help them out throughout the year,” Menendez said. “A lot of people do Christmas and stuff like that.”