In addition to writing for Gateway Student Voice, Melanie is an honor roll student and Editor-in-Chief for Gateway Star, a student-run newsletter for Gateway to College at Donnelly College.
Who am I?
My name is Melanie Quinones, but my friends refer to me as Mel. I've lived my whole life in Kansas City, KS, and consider myself quite the explorer. I explore a wide range of things: music, food and places. From what I have learned, the best thing to explore is experiences. By that I mean what you can learn and what you can take from a moment or circumstance. Since this is my last year as a teenager I've come to the realization that time is moving at a speed that disappears with every blink, and I can't let this pass me by. This love for exploring is the reason I'm here in Gateway. By learning, you’re exploring your potential and giving yourself the key to go further in this world. Education is the the foundation I need to accomplish to move on to the next bigger and better experiences. My hope, for my part in this newsletter, is to inspire others and to create a community of like-minded individuals to start and have those conversations that need to be heard.
Why I came to Gateway
In my third year of high-school I had to change schools due to moving houses. The school I was forced to go to was not the environment I wanted to be in. I felt like an outsider and unwanted. The way the students acted made me feel uncomfortable. I did not want to be there, and I tried to change schools. I was rejected from transferring and had no other option: I dropped out before my second semester of junior year started. I knew I still wanted to get some education and went forward with GED classes. I was about halfway through completing it when I was approached with Gateway as my other option. My old counselor from a prior high school told me I shouldn't have to sell myself short. She knew the circumstances of why I dropped out and knew what I was capable of. The next day we set up a meeting to come talk to the administrative assistant of Gateway.
“My old counselor from a prior high school told me I shouldn't have to sell myself short. She knew the circumstances of why I dropped out and knew what I was capable of. The next day we set up a meeting to come talk to the administrative assistant of Gateway.”
I was hesitant to join because of the time frame that they have given me for my expected graduation. I was so close to finishing my GED and thought it would be more time consuming to switch. After considering my options, I decided that I would give it a chance. All the time I had spent out of school would have been made up through the college credits I earned. That is one of the better decisions I have made in a long time.
Currently, I am in my third semester of Gateway. I have one more to go until graduation. It's been an experience for which I will be forever grateful. I definitely think being involved with Newsletter as the Editor in Chief and joining Donnelly College’s DLAC has kept me on the path of productivity and taught me how to step up and lead. Not only that, but having a positive relationship with all of Gateway’s staff has made the difference in my academics. They’ve shown me how to be held accountable. Academically, I've earned a spot on the honor roll for the last two semesters I have completed, and I credit that to all the help I’ve received and all the late nights I had to re-read essays.
“…Having a positive relationship with all of Gateway’s staff has made the difference in my academics. They’ve shown me how to be held accountable.”
Being a part of the Newsletter has not only helped me form into a better leader but has influenced me on what I want to pursue after I leave Gateway. I know for sure I to want major in graphic design as well as communications. I don't think I’d be on this path if it wasn't for Gateway.