Melissa Gomez was born in Los Angeles, California, however has a strong tie to the Tucson community. Growing up in Tucson, Melissa has made several bonds to the Tucson community. She holds Bachelors of Arts in Psychology & Sociology from the University of Arizona and has experience in working with multi-ethnic families at a college level with the New Start Summer Program MERITS first year program. Melissa has served the community through different volunteer outlets such as, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Tucson Clean and Beautiful, St. Jude’s Children Research and Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. During her time at Amistades, Melissa has coordinated the Proyecto REGALOS Parenting Program, as the Parent Educator and later became the Project Coordinator for the AVANCE Parent-Child Education Program, serving parents in the Sunnyside School District. For the last year, Melissa has dedicated her time to preventing youth and families of the dangers of underage drinking,marijuana, and prescription drug abuse through the Amistades Substance Abuse Coalition, where she serves as the Project Coordinator. Under the DFC Support Grant, Melissa coordinates various prevention activities such as the Amistades Substance Abuse Coalition meeting, Take Control. Live Free Media Arts Program, the Second Chance Diversion Program, Social Host Awareness Program, Pima County Dispose a Meds, Reducing Alcohol Outlets Density project, and the Leaders in Action Council at Flowing Wells High School. Melissa also serves as the Project Coordinator for the Tobacco Youth Development, working with other agencies to provide tobacco related technical assistance to youth coalitions state-wide; as well as the Community Development Block Grant, providing technical assistance in youth recruitment and outreach to the Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center.