Melissa was born and raised in Haverhill, MA a suburb north of Boston. Her family is from the Dominican Republic. She has lived in Arizona since 2013. She started her journey working with youth as a Child and Program Youth Program Assistant on an Army Base in Vicenza, Italy. Melissa has experience working with youth as a preschool and school age teacher. Melissa also worked in the Tucson community as facilitator helping to connect youth and families to community resources and provide skills training for youth in PCJCC. Melissa spent two years working as a case manager for behavioral health agency providing services for high needs youth and families in the Tucson community. At Amistades she is the Lead HIV Navigator for the Por Vida program. Por Vida proposes to implement innovative, culturally and generationally responsive STI/STI prevention and navigation approaches to serve Latinos ages 13-24 year old. Melissa will be working on the implementation of the evidence-based curricula to address substance use and HIV/AIDS prevention in the Latino community where she is responsible for outreach and engagement as well as facilitation of the program.