John Paul “J.P” Cortez is a 3rd generation resident of the Near-Northside, and has worked closely in the Near Northside community which he loves for over 20 years. As a resident, non-profit executive, and educator he has served his community in multiple ways and strives to help the Near-Northside grow and prosper. J.P. Cortez currently serves as a teacher leader at North East STEM Academy. NESTEM is a newly established middle school campus of Raul Yzaguirre Schools for Success (RYSS) located at James Driver Park. RYSS is one of the core programs offered by the Tejano Center for Community Concerns that has served the residents of Houston’s East End community since 1992 and is now expanding its services into the Northside.
Prior to his time with TCCC/RYSS, John Paul served as VP for Community Engagement for the YMCA of Greater Houston and Executive Director of M.D. Anderson Family YMCA located in Houston’s Near Northside. He is a proud graduate of Thomas Jefferson Elementary, Holy Name Catholic School, Jeff Davis High School, and the University of Houston - Downtown all located in the Northside. Prior to working at the YMCA he spent a total of 13 years with Houston ISD as a Clerk, Teacher, Coach, and Assistant Principal at Jeff Davis/Northside High School and Clifton Middle Schools. In addition to serving on the Northside Chamber of Commerce Board he served on the M.D. Anderson YMCA Volunteer Advisory Board from 2013 – 2018 and rejoined the board in 2022