Strengthening Families Washington 2017 Unsung Hero Melissa Brooks
Unsung Hero Melissa Brooks
Seattle's Child is proud to once again sponsor the Unsung Heroes being honored in February by the Department of Early Learning’s Strengthening Families Washington. Every day this month we'll present an Unsung Hero on seattleschild.com. Nominations are accepted from around the state and include biological parents, grandparents, foster and adoptive parents. Some volunteer at local schools; some have started nonprofit organizations; some mentor others in their communities. All honorees are true heroes - outstanding caregivers doing important work on behalf of children.
February 22, 2017
Honoree: Melissa Brooks, Kennewick
Nominator: Sherry Emery
Melissa Brooks is a parent extraordinaire! With three children on the autism spectrum, the youngest of whom is nonverbal, Melissa has been a leader in the autism community.
For years, Melissa has been reaching out to parents of children of all disabilities – so much so, that The Arc of Tri-Cities asked her to be their Parent-to-Parent coordinator. Melissa doesn’t wait for answers to come to her, she goes looking for them - for her own children, as well as for the desperate parents who call her searching for solutions to what seem like insurmountable problems. Melissa is always available for parent calls, whether at home or in her office at The Arc. Melissa tirelessly schedules workshops and trainings for parents and care providers, and rounds up speakers who are leaders in their professional arena.
The love and compassion Melissa showers on her family, and the families of children with disabilities in the Tri-Cities, is a testament to her character. Melissa teaches Proloquo2Go classes, and is learning another communication technique in order to communicate with her nonverbal daughter. Melissa also helped start a “Teens and Technology” group, and works with the Kennewick school district assisting teens transitioning from high school to the job front. Melissa also mentored Maria Ramos, who in turn, has thrown open the doors of information to the Hispanic community in the Tri-Cities.
It is easy to see why everyone who knows Melissa sees her as an unsung hero!