Leading by modeling inclusivity
“Melanie believes in creating inclusive spaces,” her nominator wrote. “She is courageous in that she uses her own identities and story to help others.”
A recent example of this is Melanie’s 2018 homecoming campaign. Representing Chi Omega, her platform—BeYOUtiful with Bomberg—raised awareness of eating disorders.
“Being on the homecoming court allowed me the opportunity to share my personal connection to my platform, which I never believed I would have the confidence to do,” Melanie said. “Through sharing my story of struggling with an abusive relationship, self-harm, and medicating, I realized I was not alone. My story empowered others to seek help and share their own stories, which is something I continuously find humbling and beautiful.”
Melanie also serves on Hokie Wellness’ Body Matters Committee. As a member of the IMPACT team with Hokie Wellness, she educates her peers through Party Positive classes, outreach booths, and the 21st Birthday Project.
Her nominator wrote, “Melanie’s openness and bold personality allow her to form connections and be real with people. I admire that she puts herself out there and is vulnerable. She speaks her mind and doesn’t put up with things that are wrong.”
Such admiration and acknowledgement from a nominator is meaningful no matter who it may be. But Melanie’s nominator just so happens to be her twin sister, Gabby.
Melanie attributes her top strength—Competition—to being a twin. “My competitive drive began in the womb and has only gotten stronger since,” she said. Among her other strengths is Consistency, which compels her to treat others equally. “Excluding others has always bothered me and is something I try to help with as an R.A. and as a teacher,” Melanie said.
In addition to her involvement with Hokie Wellness and Housing and Residence Life, Melanie has served as a note taker for Services for Students with Disabilities. She has also held board positions with Hillel at VT, been a member of the VT swim and running clubs and the Association of Early Childhood Educators, worked as a teacher at the Blacksburg Jewish Community Center and as a summer swim team coach. She’s maintained a 3.71 GPA and made dean’s list every semester since spring 2016.
After graduating from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences in May with a degree in human development and family science, Melanie plans to attend The Curry School of Education at University of Virginia to pursue a dual master’s degree in elementary education and special education. Her dream is to teach in a fully inclusive kindergarten classroom.