Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Meet Your New Neighbors

Jacqueline Valencia and Kevin Mendez, along with their 1-year-old daughter Athena, moved to Tehachapi in February from the San Fernando Valley. It is Kevin's work as an avionics technician with Stratolaunch at Mojave Spaceport that brought them to Tehachapi.

They purchased an older home in downtown and are in the process of updating it. As with most updated homes in downtown, the façade retains the feel of earlier times while the remainder of the house will be totally updated. In the meantime, they are renting.

Kevin was born in Pacoima and raised in West Hills in the San Fernando Valley. He has a sister living in Texas and a 13-year-old brother in West Hills. He joined the Marines out of high school.

"There were two guys who showed up at my high school graduation in 2016 and the next thing I knew I had joined the Marines," said Kevin.

He was stationed in Yuma, Arizona. He began an online friendship with a girl from Mesa and went to visit her. They fell in love and are now the parents of Athena. After leaving the Marines and returning to California, Kevin said he worked for Gulfstream Aviation on a six-month contract before being hired by Stratolaunch.

Jaqueline grew up in Mesa, Arizona. She has four sisters and a brother. She graduated from the Gilbert Leading Edge Academy in Gilbert, Arizona an early college school. Since arriving in Tehachapi, she has been working with the Tehachapi Unified School District as a paraprofessional, primarily in the local elementary schools. In between both of their work schedules, Athena keeps them on their toes.

In their free time, Jacqueline and Kevin love the outdoors and enjoy hiking the local trails. Kevin loves video games and plays the guitar. Jacqueline likes to read. She is also a "crafter" and likes to paint. Both of them seem to have more than enough to keep them occupied until their house is completed.

A big Tehachapi welcome to Jaqueline, Kevin and Athena.


If you have moved to Tehachapi within the last six months, Hilltop Welcoming Service has a bag of information about the Greater Tehachapi area, including local activities, events, government and facilities. There are always a few coupons and gifts, as well. It is a great way to learn about your new community. Being part of this column is strictly optional. If you would like a visit from the Welcome Hostess, contact our office at (661) 822-8188.