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Melissa entered the foster care system at age 15 and remained in care until age 19. During this time she lived in a shelter and a traditional foster home. Melissa has been an active voice for improving the Oklahoma foster care system since 2005. Her efforts include presenting multiple workshops and acting as a trainer. Melissa currently works part-time for the National Resource Center for Youth Services as an Education Specialist, assisting youth with their transition to higher education. At NRCYS she provides valuable input into program development and in developing the skills of other youth. Melissa believes, "It is important that young people in foster care have an opportunity to improve the system and support their peers in care because they know it from the inside out. They have the best viewpoint of it and are in the most advantageous position to know what will truly benefit others in care." Melissa has graduated with her Bachelors Degree and is now hoping to obtain her Masters Degree.

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