Mid-South Heroes: Teacher uses her talents to help people of all ages

Updated: Sep. 24, 2020 at 4:25 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - One woman is using her variety of talents to help people of all ages in the community.

“We’re so thankful you’re honoring teachers in this way. There’s a lot of people in our society who get a lot of attention and it’s not always our teachers, who are the ones actually transforming lives for kids every day in the classroom," said Bob Nardo, Executive Director of Libertas School of Memphis.

This honor goes to a deserving triple threat -- teacher, community organizer and scholar athlete.

Ohio native Melissa Rosely allowed her curiosity for Memphis' rich musical notes, along with storied Civil Rights history to land her in a high-need community... as a teacher with Libertas School of Memphis.

And once the pandemic changed the landscape of in-person learning, Melissa dedicated endless hours to tutoring her students via video conference and over the phone.

Although she’s dedicated to nurturing and cultivating young minds, there’s a difficult part to being a teacher.

“To me, it’s time management. There’s always so much to do and you could always do more," said Rosely.

Rosely does a lot more, creating a curriculum that focuses on black history, so that she’s equipped to teach it year round.

“It’s important for them to understand the past so that they can dream and hope for the future," said Rosely.

There’s only so many hours in a day, and yet Rosely found time outside of her classroom to volunteer to be the Feed the Front Lines, Memphis hospital liaison -- helping to coordinate 24 deliveries, usually two to three times a week, for more than 1,200 meals in just over two months. She did a lot of heavy lifting.

“She was locating and identifying who the best contact was at each hospital. To help us determine what the need would be for each hospital, how many meals we’ll need prepared, what time would be best to have those meals delivered, where they need to go, what precautions we needed to take," said Kelsey Lawrence.

From spending precious time and her own money, Rosely allocates countless hours to pounding the pavement and training to run for sick children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“I have ran the full marathon twice and was a St. Jude Hero at the time. And then I’ve also done the one-miler kids marathon with a group of children from a school that I worked at. And I’ve also run the half-marathon for St. Jude," said Rosely.

A St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Hero -- and now, this month’s Mid-South Hero. Congratulations, Melissa Rosely!

Do you know someone worthy of being called a hero? To share their story with us, click here.

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