This is Melissa Denise. She is 30 years old and is a bright light. She is a sweet, smart and sassy diva who is fiercely independent. Melissa loves swimming, singing, dancing with Straight Up Abilities and her amazing teacher, Robin Olive. She bowls with the Special Olympics and proudly displays her gold medals in her room. Melissa Denise works at Marshalls and is a model; you might see some of her photos on Canva Design. She participated in an anti-bullying campaign with Be Strong Global and a marketing project with Facebook. Melissa was featured in a video produced by The Mighty for World Down Syndrome Day in 2018. She also participates every year in the Miss Amazing Pageant, a pageant for girls and women with disabilities.
Melissa loves volunteering in her community and has been involved in beach clean-ups, collecting items such as clothes, shoes and jackets for Goodwill, and organizing a food drive for the Orange County Food Back, collecting 227 pounds of food. Most recently she got friends and family together to make sandwiches, put together lunches and walked around, passed them out to the homeless in our community. Her latest project was collecting items for Ronald McDonald House – Long Beach. Melissa says volunteering “makes me feel happy in my heart and soul.” She has a large circle of friends and a very handsome boyfriend. And most important, Melissa LOVES the Backstreet Boys and never misses a concert! According to Melissa “Nick Carter was my first crush.” Melissa is honored to be a 2020 Nothing Down Ambassador and hopes it will enable her to be a role model for others with Down syndrome. You can follow her on Instagram @melissadenisemodel.