Introduce yourself(tell about yourself & who you are)

My name is Melanie, I am 22 years old and I’m ecuadorian and guatemalan. I have lived in Brooklyn all my life and i take great pride in being involved in my community. I am a sister of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. and through my organization help carry out charitable and educational programs. I currently work with a head start program and hope to continue helping young children as a future Occupational Therapist.

What inspired you to get into all that and how does it feel knowing that you are impacting the world?

well i recently graduated from stony brook university which is a predominantly white institution and coming in as a student in the Educational Opportunity Program it was important for me to take advantage of the resources I was given but also to make a name for myself. Seeing confident women use their platform to speak on the importance of diversity and leading by example was what inspired me to continue being active on campus and help in the schools efforts to further discuss diversity on campus. Knowing that I make an impact in the world is very heartwarming because i know people look up to me and i know i motivate them in doing the same.

What are some words of wisdom you live by everyday?

take the risk or lose the chance!

What are some goals in life you’d like to complete?

one of my goals is to eventually get my OTD & be financially independent. Another goal of mine is to one day open my own OT clinic! And my third goal is is to support my younger brother & help with his passion of engineering.

What are some struggles you faced to get to where you are now?

I struggled a lot with my identity, self confidence and my mental health. I transferred schools a lot since middle school and was always finding myself having to adapt to a new environment. however, this ended up being something rewarding because it made many of my experiences and learned so much about myself.

What was your childhood experience like and how did it build you to be the woman you are now?

growing up i lived with my single father and my grandmother which was a huge adjustment and shaped a lot of the ways I do things and what I prioritize. it built me to be independent, very accepting, have a strong work ethic, and adaptable. Being a latina women however was difficult because I only had my grandmother to share her experiences which were different than being a child in America versus her experiences in Ecuador

Last question, what else would you like to tell the world about you?

That I am continuing to learn from my mistakes, life experiences and people around me. I continue to prioritize being a better version of myself than I was yesterday and will always continue to shed positivity as much as possible to those around me.

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