Melanie is a Challenge Day Leader in Europe. Melanie speaks up for what she believes in and has an “it” factor students gravitate towards. There is something very trustworthy about her. She’s aware of everything around her and in a Challenge Day can be seen reaching out to students from all walks of life.
Melanie was born in Amsterdam, to a Egyptian Koptic Orthodox father and a hippie Amsterdam mum. She has a sister and an 18 year old brother. She finished high school while living in foster care then studied psychology. After college she started a successful career co-producing dance events with multiple stages and hundreds of acts and up to 100,000 visitors per day. Later, she began a business in event production doing all sorts of jobs like artist handling, production, overall producing, promoting, stage management, office work and finance. Having her own business gave her the freedom to work in different places, to travel the world and spend a lot of time with her family which included spending a lot of time with her little brother. She fondly remembers teaching her siblings how to ride a bike, tie their shoelaces and learn how to swim. Her travels also took her to the Canary Islands where she found her love of scuba diving.
At 23, she got her degree in economics and event management. She loves working on events where thousands of people have the best day ever; bringing people that kind of joy is her passion.
Later, she developed a workshop with Meld Misdaad Anoniem (similar to Crimestoppers) and went to schools, prisons and communities to educate people about what to do when someone commits a crime. She helped empower people to find their voices and the strength to fight injustice. When Over de Streep (Cross The Line) about Challenge Day aired in The Netherlands, Melanie was inspired and began participating in Challenge Day’s workshops. Several years later, she had the courage to step outside her comfort zone and be a part of the class of European trainees who were invited to the Challenge Day Leader Training Process. She became a Challenge Day Leader in 2015.
She is committed to empowering young people to find their voices.
If you really knew me you’d know…
- Giving up everything and moving to San Francisco for Challenge Day Leader Training was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, but every day I am so happy I did.
- Training and living in California in the top 5 of my best times ever. I am so grateful for the time spent there, the adventures we had and the amazing friends I’ve made.
- My biggest dream is to travel the world doing Challenge Days.
- I love bringing all my friends from all circles together.
- I love to sing, even though I can’t hold a tune. It doesn’t stop me!
- People who take risks to pursue their dreams are my heroes.
- My father taught me a very important lesson: just breathe, it will be alright.
- I love water – oceans, rivers, waterfalls – they are my favorite.
- Up until my late twenties, I struggled to combine my two cultures into one but today I accept all of who I am!