National Program Associate, Esperanza
Brought to Christ through a Resurrection Day drama at her family’s Pentecostal church, Melinda has a passion for the use of drama and the arts in urban ministry. As a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, she was originally going to pursue engineering to “rebuild the city brick by brick.” However, she was quickly drawn to the social sciences as a way to rebuild broken communities. She changed her major to urban and environmental studies and later pursued a master’s degree in Urban Planning, also from Penn. Since graduating she has worked and volunteered for organizations that help financially struggling families receive home loans and others that encourage the arts among young people. She has also helped to establish an international summer program for Liberia to combat prostitution and led a development project for a local theater. She looks forward to the John Jay Fellows Program as an opportunity to further develop her leadership skills before continuing her studies and work in urban ministry.