AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Whether you know her as an advisor, an advocate, a mother, or a motivator, Melodie Graves is remarkable for many reasons.
Graves serves on seven different boards including the NAACP and the North Heights Advisory Association and works every day to advise Amarillo College students about how to define and achieve success.
“I’ve been at AC for 11 years and that’s the best story ever–The [student] who comes in and they don’t have a backpack, they don’t have books, they’re not ready, the financial aid isn’t done, and you follow them along this journey.” Graves said “Then, they come in and they say, ‘I got my cap and gown today and it’s like it just gives me chills because it’s just like it’s so rewarding to know that you saw some potential in somebody and then you guide them along that path to where now they see that potential. And when you show people their own potential there’s nothing that they can’t do.”
She is open about her own mental health journey sharing that she takes antidepressants which have helped her succeed. That part of her story, helps her empathize with others who are struggling.
“There is no cookie-cutter for success. Everybody’s journey is different. Everybody has a past, but everybody has a future as well.” Graves said. “Never lose hope to create a squad of people that hold you accountable and love you and will walk you through the journey to success. And to just give yourself grace, you know, so we’re so hard on ourselves.”
Last year, Graves was a featured TEDx speaker on the Power of the Amplified Voice at Texas State University.
Posing an invitation to change the world for the better that her friend and nominator, Jerri Glover, says she rarely turns down.
“There’s little she asked me to do that I say no to.” Glover said. “As a matter of fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever said no to her because she’s just that inspiring. She makes you want to be with her in the fight for whatever she’s working on.”
Glover shares that one of Graves’ qualities she admires is that she is able to invite even her critics to come to the table, so they can discuss challenges, together.
“That is one of those qualities that I admire probably most about her is even her critics, given the opportunity, she will sit down at the table with them and have a conversation about you. You may not agree with this or how this is proceeding, but what else can we do? What what is something that you would like to see us do and how would you like to see that done? And that is a gift that a few that I know have and be sincere about it.” Glover said.