Melody, 16 – Funded

Location: Miami, Florida

When Melody Huete thinks about the future, the Miami Senior High School junior is focused on challenging but achievable goals — like graduating at the top of her high school class and attending one of her dream colleges: Georgetown University or New York University. Then, she wants to go to law school, eventually opening her own firm and specializing in criminal law.

What is something you are most proud of?

Besides my academic achievements, I am most proud of being a class officer — specifically the vice president for Miami High’s Class of 2020. In this role, I have acted as a positive influence on my peers, encouraging them to partake in volunteer work within the community. With this effort, we have been able to significantly impact and give back to our community.

Have you gone through any tough or challenging times? If yes, how did you deal with those challenges?

Like anyone else, I have gone through tough and challenging times. Around five years ago, I lost my grandma to leukemia. This was a punch in the face for me, mainly because it was so unexpected and because my grandma was someone who I was very close to and who I greatly admired. However, after this loss, I tried to have an optimistic mindset and slowly I started to see life differently. Now, because of her, I donate my hair to Locks of Love as frequently as I can. It’s a reminder of my grandma who was a righteous and virtuous woman.

What does it mean to you to be selected as a Girl on the Rise?

For me, it means that I can overcome boundaries in my education that were not possible before.

What inspired you to want to be involved with Girls on the Rise?

My future professional aspirations inspired me to become involved with Girls on the Rise. The program inspires girls, just like me, to pursue an education and become empowered women.

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals? In other words: Why is the opportunity to visit your prospective colleges important to your journey?

Visiting my dream colleges is vital to the decision-making part of my journey. With the help of 1DF, I will be able to step foot on a school campus that I hope to one day attend while also experiencing its environment of like-minded individuals. Then, I will be able to choose the school that best fits my values and that has the resources to specifically guide me to become a criminal defense attorney.