Melissa Larson

Round Lake High School, Class of 2010
Macalester College, Class of 2014

Born on a U.S. naval base in Japan, Melissa came to the United States with her parents when she was four years old. She is of Japanese, Swedish, and Norwegian descent. Melissa is a first-generation college student. She recently graduated from Macalester College in Minnesota, where she received her degree in International Studies with an English focus, a concentration in Community and Global Health, and a minor in Japanese.

An accomplished student, athlete, musician, and world traveler, Melissa had a full high school experience at Round Lake High School. She was captain, starting pitcher, and Most Valuable Player for the varsity softball team for the 2010 season, and she was voted Manager of the Year for scoring the varsity wrestling team. She participated in band for eight years, playing both the saxophone and clarinet. Through the Schuler Scholar Program, she enrolled in a linguistics course at Harvard University in the summer of 2008 and volunteered in Costa Rica during the summer of 2009. Throughout all four years of high school Melissa maintained over a 4.0 GPA.

In her time at Macalester, Melissa filled her schedule with internships and extracurricular activities. She worked as the social media manager and as a writer for the online magazine A Woman’s Paris. In 2012, she completed an internship through the Philadelphia Center, where she worked with both the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia and the US-Japan Institute. The next summer, she completed an internship with the Schuler Scholar Program, where she worked on programs for both high school and college Scholars. She also worked as a student worker paraprofessional at the Minnesota Department of Health during her four years at Macalester. On top of her work experience, she also participated in ballroom and salsa dancing classes and was a member of the Macalester Rowing Team, serving as a coxswain.

During the fall of her senior year at Macalester, Melissa participated in a public health study abroad program in Copenhagen, Denmark. During her time in Copenhagen, she volunteered for Projekt Udenfor (Project Outside), which is a homeless outreach organization. She learned Krav Maga through Krav Maga Copenhagen and received the DIS Intercultural Leadership Award during her time abroad. She also had the opportunity to travel to Germany, Italy, Latvia, Finland, and Sweden while she was in Europe.

This summer, Melissa will be preparing for her next role—serving as an AmeriCorps Scholar Coach for the Schuler Scholar Program. She will be heading to Camp Manito-Wish with a group of Scholars during the summer and will be transitioning into her role as a Scholar Coach throughout the summer and into August.

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