Dog mom to the best boys, lover of books, wife, advocate, and giver.
Likes: baking delicious desserts to share, all the divine coffee the PNW has to offer, creating anything and everything with a Cricut, and spending meaningful time with family and friends
Dislikes: poorly designed parking lots, slow walkers in the middle of aisles, snow (when it sticks and she has to shovel it), and going to bed on Christmas Eve.
Melissa grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where she lived in the water. Her family relocated to the Salem/Keizer area during her high school years and she continued her love of swimming by lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons at a local pool. After graduating with her associate’s, Melissa and her husband relocated to Spokane, Washington for two years while she finished her bachelor’s degree in social work at Eastern Washington University. While in Spokane they adopted two Blue Heelers named Scout and Bandit from a local shelter.
Melissa began her career in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho where she partnered with state agencies to recruit, train, and support foster parents. It was here she found her passion for advocating and helping those impacted by the foster care system.
In 2020, Melissa, her husband, and their two dogs moved back home to Salem and she continued in her education at George Fox University. Melissa graduated in 2021 with her master’s degree in social work. She also spent a year working for DHS Child Welfare working with teens in the Portland Area.
Melissa believes that every child should feel they belong and no parent, bio or foster, should feel alone.
She knows this work will be deeply impactful for those working within the foster care community, which in turn will help support foster children and youth. Melissa is beyond excited to be part of the journey with Salem Angels and cannot wait to see what the future holds!