Melissa Carlysle learned the plight of the underserved while growing up in the Appalachian mountains of western North Carolina early on. While attending programs with the children of migrant workers in the summers, Melissa taught ESL peers to read and write as she learned the English language herself.
From junior high and through high school, Melissa attended Upward Bound, a federally funded educational program that provides academic support to potential first generation college students. After completing her bachelor’s degree, Melissa began her career at United Way of Greater Austin. Within the year, Melissa was nominated into UW Worldwide’s Young Leader’s Program and recruited to the national office in Alexandria, VA.
As the National Manager of Online Brand and Field Communications for Success by 6/Born Learning, she rolled out BornLearning.org, a national public engagement campaign designed to teach parents and educators about the stages of early child development. As the National Manager of Online Brand and Field Communications for Financial Stability, she worked to integrate federal, state and local benefits software for low income families throughout the country.
Upon moving back to Austin, Melissa became the Marketing Manager of the eighth largest radiology company in the United States. She created public awareness campaigns in the fields of radiology and preventative healthcare; speaking on a national level about cancer and women’s health at conferences across the country.
Upon moving to California, Melissa saw a vast digital gap between poor families and their wealthier counterparts; inadequate access to technology and the far reaching consequences in education and career advancement. Along with her civic minded IT partner, Melissa built SOCIHACKS, an educational technology company that provides tech training and career skills to underserved adults and children nationwide.
As a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church, Women’s Economic Ventures, Toastmaster’s International and active board member of the Ventura County ACLU and Community Action Network of Ventura County, Melissa is on a mission to empower youth, women and families in the areas of education, economics, poverty alleviation, homelessness, mental health and social inequality through service and technology.