About Me  

I'm joining Service Space because ... I am interested in joining like-minded souls to continue my journey of service and kindness. I want to soak up all the learning I can and give to others.

A good day to me is when ... I make my kids (my own and mystudents) smile. Also when I feel the magic of the Universe :)

My hero in life is ...Hands down The Alchemist!

My favorite book is ...Hmmm...I have so many who inspire me: my husband, kids, colleagues, brother. Even people I don't know who are doing good things for others.

One thing I'm grateful for is ... Everything. Truly, truly everything. At the moment, my quest to understand my purpose more fully and for listening to signs that guide me in that direction :)

The Countdown Is On! Uganda...here We Come!

Jul 12, 2019, 4 comments, 16 smiles Hello my beautiful, inspiring friends! My husband, son, and I will be leaving in 3 weeks to travel to Uganda to meet with Grace, the incredible soul who I was connected to via this very site! In order to capture all the magic, I will be blogging each day and posting pics here! I will do my best to also put the posts on the Service Space feed, but I wanted to give you the external blog link in case I forget. :) All of this...I mean all of it even beyond my trip...is because of you all. I love you so very much and am so grateful to be a part of this community!

Uganda Magic Continues!

Mar 21, 2019, 16 smiles OK, OK, OK.....breathe, Melissa, breathe. So, I am in charge of putting together all of our assemblies and fundraisers. In the spring, we have always held a fundraiser for Pennies for Patients which raises change for cancer patients. Of course, this is a noble cause. However, we started it years ago because our principal's son was diagnosed. Well, he retired, and we have a new principal. So, I was hoping to find a different charity. Since I am so heartbroken over our immigrant situation, I knew I wanted to do something with that. Then, my amazing friend, who is our librarian, had us all read the book, "Refugee" as a school back in December. It's the story of three refugees (Cuba, Nazi Germany, and Syria) whose stories all end up intertwining. She told me about an organization in the East Bay who works with refugees and newcomers. I contacted them, told them ... Read Full Story

Amazing Grace...on So Many Levels

Mar 19, 2019, 13 comments, 22 smiles Ok, folks...I have the most magical story ever!!! So, settled in with a cup of chai (or coffee...or wine...or whatevs!) cuz this is life-changing for me, and it all began with ServiceSpace! I could go all the way back to reading about Nipun and Karma Kitchen in a "Energy for Dummies" type book, but that would get really long. So, I will start with the Awakin Call that I was blessed to be a part of in January. Audrey forwarded me an email from a woman named Grace (pictured in orange above) who said she would like to get in contact with me because she had also been sexually assaulted as a girl and perhaps I could help her move forward. Well, I was just blown away that a beautiful sister in Uganda felt like I could help, so I emailed her that day! I heard back from her and discovered that ... Read Full Story

Multiple Forms Of Capital -- With 7th Graders!

Feb 20, 2019, 2 comments, 8 smiles I wanted to share an incredible service project one of my 7th grade kiddos presented today! This young woman is rather introverted (although she still gets a hug from me every day!) but she expresses herself through art and so, for her service project, she created an original animation to tell her story! It just blew me away, and I was so grateful that she is one of my teachers, showing me that we all serve from where we are and the space that feels safe. :)

Social Capital -- In Standardized Tests?!

Jan 04, 2019, 10 smiles A former student just sent me this text message: I'm studying for my first of two standardized tests tomorrow and this popped up, and I remember talking about it last year in class: She circled “Social Capital," which is one of many forms of capital as described by amazing ServiceSpace souls! I teach in an affluent neighborhood, and in our Service Innovation class, we spend a full week on the topic of "Different Forms of Capital" -- to get them away from placing such a high value on money, or "financial capital". :) I love that she remembered this!! How cool to see "social capital" and research on "Close Relationships in the 21st Century" mentioned in something as mainstream as an SAT-like book! :)

Week "One"derful

Nov 03, 2016, 5 comments, 14 smiles What an incredible kickoff we had on our Week 1 Laddership Circle!  We began with Birju laying out the flow and giving context as to what Laddership was meant to be.  He read us a beautiful quote on the ServiceSpace site that states "Laddership" is the antithesis to traditional leadership. Rather than planning-and-executing, we look to search-and-amplify with the process being just as important as the end result. From there, Pavi began the share out by reflecting on the submissions of each “rung” of this ladder and how deeply we all had gone with each other so early in this circle.  And so the sharing began… Chandni was our brave first volunteer to reflect on what brought her to Laddership. A chance meeting with her celebrity rockstar, Nipun, at her university was the catalyst after six years of experiencing ServiceSpace. From there she worked with Laddership’s own, Natasha, and here she is. The ... Read Full Story

Today My Service Innovation Class Of ...

Oct 14, 2016, 1 comments, 11 smiles Today my Service Innovation class of 7th graders skyped with the inspirational Jacob Cramer, a ServiceSpace intern this summer. Wow! What an incredible soul he is! he chatted with my students about how he got started, how he balances his service with his other life responsibilities, and the challenges he has faced. Engaged, inspired and connected. Amazing things happen when kids inspire kids. We love you, Jacob!  

Turning The Wheeeeeel Of Kindnessss

Sep 02, 2016, 2 comments, 14 smiles [Below are the comments I had shared at the ServiceSpace community night last weekend.] Earlier today, John mentioned that one of the markers of knowing if you're really seeing some someone is you feel like you're bursting in a thousand pieces. I can tell you, I am seeing you, because I feel like I'm bursting into a million pieces. I first breathed in ServiceSpace last year at this exact event. I don't know how I got here, but I was so excited to be invited. It was the most incredible night I have had, I think truly, ever. Since then, I have been blessed to experience two Laddership circles, a Karma Kitchen (which was just beyond!), a kindness Awakin circle, and I got to have Anne Marie and Audrey come to my playground -- a middle school where I teach. I remember after my first Laddership circle, being so inspired, and thinking, "God, ... Read Full Story

9 Ways To Introduce Students To Kindness

Apr 14, 2016, 1 comments, 15 smiles A friend sent me this article today: 9 Ways to Introduce Students to Random Acts of Kindness (And you'll notice the Smile Card photo! Woot, woot!). Many great ideas and apps to hold space for kindness in schools... and their feature photo had me smiling wide! :) Here's an excerpt: "Research consistently shows that volunteering and helping others not only encourages civic responsibility among students, but also helps them develop social skills, strengthen their communities, and learn about their interests and talents and how they can be applied in the real world. There’s also a new emphasis on “soft skills,” like respect, responsibility, perseverance, compassion and kindness that some experts say are more important to a child’s future success than hard skills like reading, math and science."   

Pancho's Look Of Love

Mar 28, 2016, 14 comments, 30 smiles I have only met Pancho one time, and even calling it a meeting is a stretch, as we never actually spoke any words. It was at the Saturday night community dinner at the ServiceSpace retreat in Bolinas last year. My husband and I had been invited to join the retreat goers, and to be honest, we knew no one there. I had reached out to Nipun about some work I was hoping to do at my school but hadn't done enough research to realize what an incredible soul he was. And yet he embraced me in the way that he always does everyone, with such acceptance and exuberance, and invited us to join the dinner. Little did I know the ripple of impact that invitation would have on my life. It was at that dinner that I first came to know Pancho. I didn't have a chance to speak with him directly, but ... Read Full Story