As we approach the holiday season, we are reminded of how much we value and appreciate our TEAMBOOST partners. So to say THANK YOU to our incredible community we will be spotlighting our BOOST Bloggers, Ambassadors, and Leadership Team members weekly through the end of December.
We are kicking off our BOOST Gratitude Blog Series with 10 things you didn’t know about Melissa Perez, BOOST Leadership Team Member since 2017.
How did you get into the OST, expanded learning, or educational field?
Since a child playing “school” with my sisters and cousins, I knew I wanted to be an educator. In 2000-2001, my senior year in High School, I worked part-time in an After School Program at a private school at my church. This was my first paid experience working with children. A few years later in 2003-2004, while studying at CSUF, I worked part-time as an Instructional Asst. in the ASES After School Program in the Fullerton School District. This started my 17-year journey working in a School District.
What is your favorite book to read? What are you currently reading?
I have a list of faves! Currently, I am reading “For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts,” by Prisca Mojica Rodriguez.
Tell us some unique things you do/ways you destress and unwind?
I do some deep breathing exercises, pray, go for a quick walk and get fresh air, get a good cry out, journal my thoughts, or dance it out. Whatever feels good to me at that point!
Share any interesting or exciting travel experiences you’ve had?
Oooh traveling brings me much joy and excitement! I love to adventure. In July 2019, my husband, family and I explored CDMX- Ciudad de Mexico or Mexico City and I fell in love! Mexico City is incredible and full of beautiful architecture, delicious food, and drinks, beautiful culture, and experiences! I would love to live here for at least 6 months or longer and can’t wait to visit again!
What is your go-to lunch break food/activity?
I have the privilege to work from home and so I make a gourmet salad with whatever leftovers I can find in the fridge! I love crunchy salads and a sparkling water 🙂
Do you have pets? If so, tell us all about them!
Yes! Lola is my fur baby. She is a brown and white 13-year old Shih-Tzu/Pekingese and weighs about 10 pounds. She is small but feisty. She loves to cuddle with her Mom and Dad, loves snacks, and in her older years sleeps a lot. I don’t have any human kids, so she is quite spoiled and loved dearly.
What go-to song would you sing at Karaoke night?
“Proud Mary”- Tina Turner version! Boom! My parents exposed me to very diverse types of music in English and Spanish, so I am open to being a backup singer anytime!
If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?
What a great question! I would be my Nana (Grandmother). She was a gem I lost too soon in life. I could learn all of her delicious recipes and Mexican remedies, gain her knowledge and wisdom, and just learn more about the beautiful and incredible Woman, Mother, and Grandmother she was.
Share any unique hobbies or talents.
I’d like to think my mad shopping skills at Target are a skill, but maybe not. I LOVE Chicana/o Art, so one of my hobbies used to include painting Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Art on wine glasses. I used to sell them in a local store and at a few Farmers Markets.
What advice would you give to your teenage self?
Keep on doing your best; It will pay off, maybe not right now, but I promise, it will. Always stay true to yourself, learn all you can, and be open to new experiences! Follow your heart and your gut, and do what makes you happy! Remember, you can’t always take care of EVERYTHING and EVERYONE- you have a big heart who cares about everyone- but don’t forget to take care of yourself too. Hechale ganas #SinMiedo.
Today for breakfast Melissa had toast topped with turkey sausage, spinach, eggs, cheese, and Tapatio.
From all of us here at TEAMBOOST, thank you Melissa for being part of our community and for the incredible work you do for the youth and communities in California!