Meet LeaderKids Alum – Frida

Frida Castañeda-Lomónaco, LeaderKids 1998 and Candidate for LeadingEdge 2023

Coordinator of Board Records Management, Office of the Chief Operating Officer, Tarrant County College District

Frida Castañeda-Lomónaco was an 8th grade student at Monnig Middle School in Fort Worth ISD when she was selected to participate in the 1997-1998 cohort of LeaderKids. Frida’s family immigrated to the United States from Mexico when she was 8 years old. She had initially hopped around a few different elementary schools, so Frida felt different from her classmates because most of them had started school together and known each other for years.

When the counselor called her into the office to recommend her for the LeaderKids program, Frida realized that adults were watching her and saw her potential, even when she didn’t realize it herself. As a LeaderKid, Frida got to “work” at a Mervyn’s department store, shadowing an employee and learning more about what it meant to be a part of the workforce. Frida also enjoyed touring the Nokia facility where she got to see the phone assembly line and behind-the-scenes look at the operations. Frida credits the LeaderKids program with showing her that she didn’t need to play catch-up with her classmates after all. Some students had Gifted & Talented programs, sports or spelling bees, and Frida had LeaderKids to make her feel special, like she belonged too.

Frida went on to graduate from Arlington Heights High School in 2004 and moved back to Mexico where she studied Creative Writing. While in Mexico, she worked as an English and Computer Literacy teacher and curated a passion for education. In 2008, Frida moved back to Fort Worth and enrolled in classes at Tarrant County College. She decided that she wanted to work in education, so she became a certified teacher’s assistant with Fort Worth ISD, where she facilitated literacy intervention classes for students with dyslexia. Eventually, she worked her way into the administrative side of public education, working with the Adult Education and Literacy Grant in Mountain View College, Dallas. In 2018, Frida started working at Tarrant County College as an Executive Administrative Assistant. She remains at TCC as the Coordinator of Board Records Management.

“LeaderKids helped me see potential within me that I might not have found on my own. It gave me the courage and confidence to pursue my educational goals. Leaderkids also showed me the importance of supporting others and helping them connect with their own potential.”

Leadership Fort Worth is excited about Frida’s next chapter as she becomes part of the LeadingEdge 2023 cohort that will start at the end of January and graduate in June 2023, just in time to join us for our 50th anniversary celebration!

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