Episode 26: Melissa Minaya Part 1

Melissa Minaya, Program Administrator, Legal Aid Bureau

Melissa has worked at HLS for over 13 years and been at Harvard for 20. Born and raised in Lawrence, MA with parents and family roots from Dominican Republic, Melissa tells Edgar stories of her childhood in Lawrence and the large Latino representation there. They dive deep into conversations around family party celebrations, food and fruit tastes in the DR and Brazil compared to what they experience in the US. She talks about her numerous trips to the Dominican Republic with her family to visit relatives.
While discussing her experience growing up in Lawrence, she shares stories about daycare and home care and her early discovery about race. She went to school in Lawrence from kindergarten all the way to high school, going from a young shy kid to a more engaging student in high school joining many different groups activities.
For her, college was completely different than high school. She loved her academic learning experience and enjoyed the support of specific faculty members; however, she does talk about her experience with a lack of diversity and how that impacted her sense of inclusion and belonging.
Listen to part two to learn about how she started working at Harvard and what she does in her role at HLS.

Some fun facts about Melissa:
-Some of her hobbies include knitting and cake decorating
-She loves Spanish ballads and R&B
-She has two younger sisters

The goal of this podcast is to introduce folks to HLS staff members from across the community. You may recognize the names of some guests, and if you don’t, that’s okay!  We hope that you will tune in to learn more about your colleagues—what their role is, what makes them tick, and why they do the work that they do at HLS.  If you’re interested in being a guest, please let us know—we would love to hear your story. Our stories bring us together; we come from different backgrounds and serve all different roles, but our shared community at HLS unites us. Let us hear your story! 

Filed in: Tell Me Your Story