Melissa co-founded Awaken, a nonprofit whose mission is to increase awareness and education surrounding the issue of commercial sexual exploitation and to provide restoration to its victims. In2015, Melissa’s work with victims of sex trafficking won her Glamour Magazine’s “Hometown Hero of the Year” award. This brought national recognition to the work northern Nevada has accomplished around this issue. Melissa believes strongly in seeking justice and is passionate about uniting the local community in the fight to end commercial sexual exploitation of women and children.