Melissa is a grade 11 student in Coquitlam, British Columbia where she was born and raised. She has been dancing since she was five. Melissa is passionate about dancing. She’s competed in ballet, jazz and acrobats in groups, duos and solos. She enjoys volunteering at Church and Community events to help others. Melissa’s platform is to raise awareness for mental health. Her goal is to convince the government to supply more psychiatric beds in the Fraser Health Region and to re-open River View hospital.
In 2014, she volunteered at I STAND for Youth Mental Health sponsored by the Canadian Mental Health Association. In this event, youth learn to cope with their own struggles, how to help friends and family who might be struggling and listen to presentations from young people who share their stories.
She is currently fundraising to raise money for Share Family and Community Services where she intends to volunteer to further the cause for mental health awareness. Since 2008, Melissa volunteered at community dinners for less fortunate members of her community through her Church. She has participated in the Relay for Life to fundraise for Cancer research. This year, Melissa plans to continue fundraising with her team of 12 friends and family at the Coquitlam Relay for Life. Her team is sponsoring Leigh, a breast cancer survivor.
Melissa chose to sponsor Leigh because she inspires her to move forward and to know that no matter how bad life gets “you can choose how you want to be treated and how you will treat yourself. Sometimes we need a wake-up call to take better care of ourselves through diet, exercise, stress management and a better attitude and effort towards a healthier lifestyle.”
Since 2013, Melissa has been active in her school community as a peer tutor for the Special Education Department. She supports students with learning difficulties, helping them learn skills to become more independent and integrated both in school and in their community. When asked about Melissa, the students she helps out say Melissa is “super cool” and they enjoy having her around.
When asked who inspires you, Melissa smiles when she talks about Audrey Hepburn. On the wall in her room, she has several quotes. She wanted to share one of her favorites;
“The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.”
After high school, Melissa would like to become a registered nurse because she loves helping people and she’s always wanted to work in the medical field. Melissa sees herself working in an Emergency Department. Her ability to remain calm and rational in stressful situations will be an asset to any hospital team.
As a Title Holder, she envisions herself being exposed to public speaking appearances; something she says will be stressful. This will help her prepare for her job as a Nurse by teaching her coping skills she will need when under pressure.