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Melissa Shields

IAC Foreign Currency/Journalism Ambassador

Native of:  Queens, New York

Alma Mater/Degree: Hampton University- BA in Broadcast Journalism. CUNY Queens College- MA in Secondary Special Education. St.John’s University Dual Advanced Certificates, School Building Leadership and TESOL

Occupation: Special Education, Mathematics and Broadcast Journalism Teacher

History of non-profit work: An active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated – Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter
Faculty Advisory for The Do Something {Community Service} Club – World Journalism Preparatory School Chapter

Favorite travel destination: Jamaica, West Indies. I love traveling to Jamaica because it is an island rich in culture. From the music to the people and the food, Jamaica wins me over time and time again. I can lounge at the beach or get adventurous and explore the many falls and mountains Jamaica has to offer. Jamaica celebrates and acknowledges it’s African heritage.

As the Jamaican motto says, “Out of many, one people.” It reflects the diversity of the Jamaican people, being a mix of different races, cultures and religions. I am first generation American and I love visiting and learning more about my parents’ birthplace. Every time I visit Jamaica, I learn more about myself.

Hobbies: I enjoy participating in community service activities. I take pleasure in dining out with family and friends. I also enjoy kickboxing, hot yoga, dance and step aerobics fitness classes.

What inspires me: Travel inspires me. Travel takes me out of my comfort zone and makes me try new things. Travel encourages me to respect others through greater cultural understanding. Travel also inspires me to aspire for more from life.

I believe travel can…Help you discover your true self.

Favorite quote: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."  -Mark Twain