Melissa Jacobs was born and raised in Leamington Ontario, a small town outside of Windsor. Melissa graduated from high school with honours and received numerous leadership awards. She started her post-secondary education at the University of Windsor in the Bachelors of Social Work Program and is in the top 15% in her program. Melissa is currently in her fourth year and has further expanded her knowledge and experience through volunteering throughout the Windsor Essex County community. Melissa is a summer student at Ready Set Go, a not-for-profit government organization that helps children and families transition comfortably into their communities. Melissa assists in facilitating in programs and fundraisers in order to meet the organizations goals. Melissa’s goal is to broaden her knowledge on community needs through volunteering and enforce change to help those in need.
Melissa has experienced working with individuals from vulnerable populations and recognizes the needs of her community. She has had the opportunity of volunteering at Windsor Regional Hospital helping staff and patients during renal dialysis treatments. She has also had the privilege of volunteering at the Peer Support Centre on the University of Windsor Campus. There she was able to be a peer councillor to fellow students who were in need of a listening ear or some resources to assist in any additional needs. Through the Peer Support Centre she has received countless hours of training in order to be certified to help those who are suffering from suicide ideation, drug addictions, societal standards, etc. Melissa has also had the privilege of volunteering with the Liberty Project; a program ran through Enactus at the University of Windsor. She was able to provide counselling to women who have suffered from drug addictions and mental illnesses while helping those women find employment by producing reusable menstrual pads to third world countries. She was able to volunteer at the Food Bank located on the University of Windsor Campus and witnessed the need for students to access food and basic necessities. She has had the privilege of volunteering and working with two boys who have autism and assisted in their journey of independence and community involvement. Melissa finds that learning about her community through being involved and educated will give her the strength to create change.
Melissa has an immense amount of love and support from her family and friends. She uses their guidance in every decision and learnt the importance of family at a very young age. Melissa’s mother was diagnosed with brain cancer when she was three years old. Her mother fought for five years, but passed away when Melissa was eight years old. Her mother was the definition of strength and courage. Her mother enforced the power of faith when in comparison to life and the importance of family. Melissa has a grandmother who is currently battling liver, lung, and bone cancer. Her grandmother has had seven cancers previous to these three over the past five decades, and is God’s miracle on earth. Melissa had an army of family supporting, loving, and caring for her. Her family installed the values of faith, love, strength, and courage at a young age so that she can display those values throughout life.
Melissa believes that her life experiences and aspirations is the reason for competing in the Miss Universe Canada pageant. She believes this pageant may give her the opportunity of maintaining a platform that can be used to enforce change in the community for those who are in need of guidance, assistance, and a sense of belonging.