Originally from Northeast Tennessee, Melody attended Indiana University and earned her bachelor's degrees with departmental honors in Psychology and Criminal Justice while teaching a study skills course for incoming freshmen and serving on the Residence Housing Association Judicial Board.
After her undergraduate studies, she taught seventh grade math, science, and writing in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood. At Roswell B. Mason Elementary school, Melody quickly learned the value of creating safe learning opportunities for youth during and after the school day through creative methods, and with even greater intention in understanding families with complex needs navigating a complicated school system.
Melody returned to Indiana University to obtain her master’s degree in Social Work with concentration on Children and Families. For seven years at Centerstone, the nation’s largest provider of community-based behavioral healthcare, Melody worked as a home/community-based child and adolescent therapist with DCFS-involved families as well as youth aged 3-22 who had been diagnosed with behavioral disorders in individual, family, and group settings.
Melody first came to Y.O.U. as Site Coordinator for the afterschool program at Evanston Township High School in January 2010, developing and facilitating restorative community service curricula to formally unite the program content with social-emotional needs. Two year later, Melody assumed the role of Youth and Family Counselor/Clinical Coordinator where she primarily worked with youth from ETHS and young adults in the Street Outreach Program. In 2015, she transitioned into her current role as Y.O.U.'s Director of Clinical and Outreach Services. As the Clinical Director, Melody oversees all supportive services to the after school programs including Youth and Family Counseling, Housing Crisis, Sexuality Education, Street Outreach, and Family Engagement Programs.
Since 2000, Melody has been facilitating educational and life skills-based programs, efficacy-based anger management, strengths-based, CBT, DBT, and restorative protocols with emphasis on providing trauma-focused individual, family, and group therapy. Melody's philosophy of practice is deeply rooted in the transformative power of positive relationships and human connections.