Melissa Cornejo-Nell is currently a Program Specialist with Metro Nashville Public Schools’ (MNPS) Community Achieves initiative. In this role, she supports connecting community partners and resources to MNPS schools through a lens of equity and inclusion.
Previously, Melissa served as Community Coordinator at the United Way of Greater Nashville’s The Family Collective. Here, she assisted the development of a year-long training program for over 80 staff to establish best practices of supporting clients who are experiencing homelessness across Middle Tennessee. This effort also generated community-network coaching standards and promoted racial equity within the network of more than 30 community partners.
Before that, Melissa served as College Access Program Manager at Conexión Américas, where she holistically case-managed first-generation college students-to-be from immigrant backgrounds to prepare for post-secondary life through one-on-one mentoring and facilitating weekly group sessions. In addition, she designed and maintained data tracking systems to monitor student and grant progress and analyzed college access trends to enhance overall program strategy, improve student advising, and increase financial aid offers.
Melissa earned a Master of Education in Learning, Diversity, and Urban Studies from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College and a Bachelor of Arts in Feminist Media Studies and French Culture from the University of Redlands’ Johnston Center for Integrative Studies.
She is also a member of the PENCIL Emerging Leaders Board, the Alignment Nashville Community Achieves A-Team, and the Nashville Emerging Leaders class of 2023.
Melissa is a proud Chicana originally from Los Angeles, California. She and her wife have called Nashville home for nearly seven years.