4 years in Virginia's foster care system

18 years old


While in the foster care system, Melvin has done some extraordinary things. He currently serves as Vice President on an advocacy group called SpeakOut which helps to bring many issues in Virginia’s foster care system to Legislature.


Melvin is also very involved in his Independent placement agency UMFS where he works with Project Life which helps youth by providing critical skills they will need when they transition out of care. Within Project life, Melvin has been able to help facilitate workshops and engage in various speaking engagements to help build up other foster youth.


Melvin currently attends Old Dominion University where he is studying in criminal justice and human services with the hopes of working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). While working to obtain his bachelor’s degree, he has created an organization called Foster-U which seeks to help foster youth ages 14-18 in striving for higher education.


Melvin is a resilient young leader with the determination to make world change. He has always committed to bettering himself and his current/former foster youth peers - it’s not what you went through that defines you, it’s what you learn from the situation, that shapes you.