Humans of Blair: Building Bridges of Inclusion

March 17, 2022, 9:22 p.m. | By Hannah Hekhuis | 2 years, 3 months ago

Melissa Young explains what her position at Montgomery Blair High School entails.

Melissa Young (she/her), Latino Achievement Coordinator at Blair. Photo courtesy of Hannah Hekhuis.

“I would just say go ahead and start the conversation [in Spanish] because a lot of times a new student will feel comfortable just knowing that you understand what they’re saying.”

For Melissa Young, every day is an opportunity to support someone new.

Aside from teaching an online class and managing the BLISS tutoring program, Young is the Latino Achievement Coordinator at Blair. She describes her role as “working with Spanish speaking students and their families to make sure they get the services they need [and] get their questions answered.” 

In an effort to continue making Blair a more inclusive environment for new students, Young founded and currently runs the club “Without Borders”. This new-to-Blair club “is an effort to make Blair more welcoming to students arriving from other countries”, through a variety of service projects. For instance, Young recently lead the club in creating “welcome bags for students to receive when they arrive”, which included a variety of school supplies and Blair merchandise. 

Ultimately, the most important thing for the Blair community to do to welcome new students is to reach out to them, Young believes. She encourages students (and staff) to “[use their] Spanish to talk to recently arrived students.” 

Young’s work spans many aspects of inclusion, all of which involve access, support, and engagement for newcomers

Ms. Young leads a weekly meeting of the club Without Borders. Photo courtesy of Hannah Hekhuis.

Last updated: March 17, 2022, 9:33 p.m.

Tags: Humans of Blair

Hannah Hekhuis. Hey, I'm Hannah (she/her) and I'm the photo editor!! This summer, I saw Justin Bieber at a concert (accidentally). More »

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Maria Portela — 2 years, 2 months ago

Ms. Young is the best supporter of LOS PADRES de BLAIR, PTSA's Hispanic Outreach Group!!! She helps us organizing meetings with the parents of Hispanic students with subjects and themes that matter to them. She is always in attendance and giving us great support. She is a great partner who keeps pushing us to do more! She is the best!!

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