Lana Mendis


Lana Mendis is the Leadership Admin Coordinator at JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) where she is responsible for making sure all aspects of the Leadership Team’s work runs smoothly behind the scenes. This involves coordinating meetings, securing partnerships with vendors, and communication with JLUSA Leaders and Alumni. Although Lana is a native of Chicago, IL, she has resided in Ohio for almost 16 years.

Also, she works with Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry part-time with the Chopping for a Change (C4C), a culinary Arts program for incarcerated men & women. Lana is an alumni of JustLeadershipUSA’s (JLUSA) 2022 Leading with Conviction Fellowship, she is a member of NABCJ (National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice), a mentor, as well as an ambassador for Prison-to-Professional PhD (P2P) working on the STEM Opportunities in Prison Settings project, assisting in developing a Speakers Bureau and Mentoring Working Group in collaboration with EDC (The Education Development Center, Inc.) located in Washington, D.C. In addition, she recently graduated from Ohio Christian University with her BA in Leadership & Ministry in Pastoral Care, and is currently attending OCU full-time on track to receive her accelerated MBA in Organizational Management & Administration in June of 2024. Lana’s professional background includes working in the finance/brokerage industry for over eighteen years.

She is very passionate about advocacy and policy reform within the criminal justice system. This passion stems from encountering many obstacles, difficult challenges, trauma, and adversity in her life. She is a survivor of not only incarceration, but of severe child abuse, foster care, neglect, homelessness, and domestic violence.