UCLA Rugby President Drives to Help Others

October 16, 2019

Yanick Mendes, a member of the UCLA men’s rugby club, has set an example for members of his club on and off the pitch. For his efforts, Mendes was nominated for the 2019 Penn Mutual Life of Significance Award—an award given to a collegiate rugby player that demonstrates shared values of integrity, respect, loyalty and community.

Mendes had these values instilled in him by his parents. The son of West African immigrants, Mendes appreciates what he has and where he comes from.  With a passion for education, the Mendes family has sponsored education programs to help provide opportunity for West African children.

“My parents were privileged to come to America. They have gone through a lot of hard work and a lot of schooling to help provide me with a great upbringing. I was raised seeing them do a lot within their own community,” Mendes indicated.

Mendes has taken this philanthropic approach in his own life. During his tenure at UCLA, Mendes has volunteered with organizations like Midnight Mission, an organization that provides food for the local homeless community. Along with members of his fraternity, Mendes would make and distribute meal bags to the homeless of downtown Los Angeles.

 As President of the UCLA Rugby Club, Mendes instilled a strong culture of giving back. He organized team trips to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles where the club spent time with sick children, providing little kids with hope for the future. As a club, Mendes hopes to use the power of their numbers to be a force for good.

“We love representing our school and our team and really try to make an impact on the community,” Mendes added.

Mendes has an outstanding commitment to serving others and he still works hard to help youth have a better future, consistently demonstrating the values of integrity, respect, loyalty and community on a daily basis.

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