California State University, Long Beach
Recipient, William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trusteesí Award for Outstanding Achievement
Melany Aikenís childhood was filled with hardship. Her difficult upbringing caused severe depression during her teenage years, resulting in risky behavior and self-destructive activities. Determined to make something of herself, Melany enrolled at a community college to attain an associateís degree but, as her self-confidence grew, she decided to pursue a teaching career. In May 2007, Melany graduated magna cum laude from CSU Long Beach with a bachelorís degree in history and anthropology. She will receive her teaching credential from CSULB in February 2009, and begin the masterís program to earn an advanced degree in history. Her goals include teaching history in both a local high school and a developing country. Based on her own experiences, she believes that education is the best way to better oneís life. Melany currently volunteers as an academic mentor with Long Beach BLAST, where she tutors students who are at risk of failing the California High School Exit Exam.