Melissa is a California native who enjoys spending time with her family, being out in the sunshine, and being a dog mom to her pup, Jules. Having already achieved her goal of operating a construction company, she changed pathways to a career in a field with more diversity.
By happenstance, she found Charter School Capital through an ad and what started as a temp position led her to work her way up the ranks. Now seven years later, she reflects on her CSC journey and what she hopes for its future.
How did you find CSC?
I responded to an ad! After pursuing my (at the time) dream job, to work and run a construction company, I decided to change career paths and found Charter School Capital. The ad said they needed an accounting assistant, so I came in and, as I was told, did six months’ worth of work in one month. Shortly after, we partnered with American Infrastructure and created American Education Properties. I moved up the ladder, which was surprising to me, but I’m still finding surprises and opportunities at Charter School Capital almost seven years later.
For someone who doesn’t know about CSC or your position, how would you explain it to them?
CSC supports charter schools through several initiatives, including working capital. My function is to ensure the inflow of receivables for those transactions. I’ve worked here for so long I can tell you details about each school, partner, and region.
What brings you joy? Professionally and Personally
Professionally: Accountability and Teamwork
Personally: family, puppies, cheese board, wine, and nacho cheese. Lots of nacho cheese!
At what point did you learn about this line of work? What called you to it?
I attended a charter school myself, so I had some understanding of how they worked. I knew they were a world of their own, and luckily that advertisement brought me full circle.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be my mom. I still want to be her. She’s smart, hilarious, has the biggest heart, and worked very hard to provide a wonderful life for us without breaking a sweat. She’s such a phenomenal person. If I could be an ounce of her growing up, I’ll be a happy camper.
What is a piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
Stand up for yourself, use your voice, and don’t ever let anyone tell you things have to be a certain way. You have the power to make something your own and be whatever you set out to be.
How do you hope to impact charter schools/children in the charter system?
By providing resources to stimulate growth for charters, the impact we make is enormous. Educational reform is on my agenda (probably next year) to standardize curricula and standardize teacher interaction with students.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
My dog Jules, and my family.
If you could create a new class subject that students would study, what would it be, and why?
Personal Finance. Where you can learn about credit cards, taxes, and the realities of money management, especially at 18 years old, there’s so much opportunity to teach folks how to save, budget, and general knowledge of future investing.
I’m not saying this because I’m in accounting; I’m saying this because I still have trouble with this stuff. It’s real-life scenarios that we need to help folks be educated on.
What piece of advice would you give to the younger generation?
Live in the moment
In your view, what does the world need more of? Less of?
More empathy, less hate.
I would love to see people be more empathetic and get in touch with their human side, especially when conversations are happening from behind a screen. Technology can foster an environment of isolation. Living in the moment and treating others with kindness can go a long way.
What do you hope to see for the Future of Charter Schools?
I want to see children and communities have access to equal education. I want no child to have to sit on a waitlist. I’d like a world where they’re guaranteed a school of their choice.
What do you hope to see for the Future of CSC?
I would like to see the diversity in our community at Charter School Capital continue to expand. I hope we continue to provide resources for schools to excel in their academic performance and that we continue to create initiatives for charter school success.
Want to share?
Since the company’s inception in 2006, Charter School Capital has been committed to the success of charter schools. We help schools access, leverage, and sustain the resources charter schools need to thrive, allowing them to focus on what matters most – educating students. Our depth of experience working with charter school leaders and our knowledge of how to address charter school financial and operational needs have allowed us to provide over $1.8 billion in support of 600 charter schools that have educated over 1,027,000 students across the country. For more information on how we can support your charter school, contact us. We’d love to work with you!