Raised in Memphis TN, Melissa is a first generation college graduate who attended the University of TN at Chattanooga on an academic scholarship. She graduated Cum Laude in May of 2005 with a BS degree in Psychology. In May of 2009, Melissa graduated with her Master's degree in Education with a concentration in School Counseling. Since then, she has chosen to work within inner city schools where she can empower students to reach their maximum potential and break destructive cycles within their families and communities. She is particularly passionate about helping people envision and reach for goals they once thought were impossible!
What did it mean to be recognized with the Footprint Award?
It was a very pleasant surprise to say the least! At times when you are giving your all and doing the "hard stuff," it can feel very lonely. Being recognized with the Footprint award reminded me that there is a supportive village out here that sees you and notices your impact. Not only that but celebrating the others who were also awarded and learning about their work sends the message that you are not alone.
What inspires you to do your work?
My own story inspires me to do my work. I look at what could have happened or how one decision can alter one's entire life and decide each day to help young people make the best decisions for their future.
What is one wish you have for Chattanooga?
My wish for Chattanooga and beyond is that everyone would be given an equal opportunity in all areas of life. That we all see how each piece of the puzzle matters to ALL.