Melissa is a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate School of Education in the Developmental and Psychological Sciences (DAPS) program. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Hispanic Studies from Scripps College in 2012. After receiving her undergraduate degree, Melissa worked for her alma mater in the Offices of Admissions and Student Affairs as she led the First-Generation at Scripps program. She then went on to Puno, Peru on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship where she conducted research focused on the educational experiences of Aymara and Quechua communities. Additionally, Melissa has conducted cross-cultural research on Indigenous Mexican communities living in the United States. During this time, Melissa realized her passion lay in community-based outreach and research. Her research interests center on the cultural practices immigrant communities maintain throughout generations and specifically examines its impact on learning, development, and well-being of youth. She is a recipient of the Stanford Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) Doctoral Fellowship, Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, and the Gates Millennium Scholarship.