As an immigrant born in Brazil, Melina experienced firsthand the transformative power of education, and throughout the years, she has done all that she could to use that knowledge to help lift the lives of others. Prior to joining America Forward, Melina served at City Year in a number of leadership roles, including Director of State Engagement and Policy, and Education Strategy and Policy Manager. She previously worked at the Education Trust and at the U.S. Department of Education, where she served as Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King. Before becoming a citizen, Melina worked in political campaigns supporting candidates and causes that sought to address the country’s most pressing challenges, including as the Northeast Deputy Regional Political Director of the Democratic National Committee and the Deputy Operations Director for a state-wide campaign. Melina received a BA in Political Science from CUNY Hunter College.