Melissa Flores
Senior Director, Strategy + Operations, Erie Neighborhood House
Melissa Flores, the daughter of Mexican immigrant parents from Jalisco, has dedicated her entire life to advocate for equity and improve the educational and economic outcomes of children and families in Illinois. In 2018, Melissa joined Erie Neighborhood House, a complex social service agency in Chicago, as the Senior Director of Programs and Quality Assurance. There, she oversaw seven departments and 16 programs that provide services to Latinx and immigrant families to ensure that they are healthy, happy, and thriving. In this role, she brought together all of her passions to support programs from Childcare and Afterschool Programs, Citizenship and Immigration Services, Adult Education, Health and Workforce Development. In late 2019, she was recognized for her strength developing organizational strategy and became the Senior Director of Strategy and Operations at Erie Neighborhood House. In this role, she guides and provides strategic direction to ensure the long-term sustainability of the agency that serves over 10,000 community residents annually. Melissa is an active member of her Harvard Alumni Councils to champion diversity, serve as an ambassador, and support the recruitment of Latinx students. She is the Chicago Chapter Lead for the Harvard Latino Alumni Alliance (HLAA) and serves on the national board as the Vice Chair for Alumni Membership. Locally, Melissa sits on the Impact Council for A Better Chicago and is an enthusiastic supporter of Chicago Scholars where she is a mentor. In 2019, Melissa was selected for her expertise and appointed as a Commissioner for the Illinois Youth Budget Commission by Governor Pritzker. A proud Chicago Public Schools graduate, Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Professional Writing from Mount Mary College; an Ed.M. in Education from Harvard University, where she was a Courtney Sale Ross Fellow; and an Master of Arts in Chicana/o Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she was a Regents Special Fellow. Melissa is a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Latino Non- Profit Leadership Program Fellow, a 2019 Surge Institute Fellow, and a 2019 Negocios Now Who’s Who in Hispanic Chicago for nonprofit leadership. She recently completed the inaugural United Way Board Leadership Institute and hopes to continue to serve Illinois by sitting on a Board to support the educational outcomes of Latinxs.