Ms. Williams has been doing community service and giving back to her community since she was 18 years old. She has been giving back to underprivileged children through the Arts. She started at the Achievement center for children and families by teaching them Dance and Acting and directing Black History performing arts programs. She often spoke to the children and teens in the community about getting involved in performance arts and staying away from gang violence as part of her platform as Ms. Black Delray Beach, Florida.
At age 21, she went on to start a program called “Melissa’s Rhythm Dancers which focused on“Keeping children off the street. She dedicated her time teaching underprivileged students hip hop, lyrical, jazz, and at summer camp in which she taught them dance, drama, art , and put on a show of what they accomplished.
Melissa didn’t stop helping the youth, She continued to dedicate her time teaching at local title 1 schools. She taught the students that normally wouldn’t get the opportunity to dance and musical theater, and drama . Melissa taught them the gift of dance which would last a lifetime. Most of the students were migrant students and poverty stricken. Some of the students that she taught were able to audition to one of the most prestigious performing arts middle school in Palm Beach County for dance, drama, and communications. She gave these children opportunity when they were not able to get due to their economic status. She went above and beyond by dedicating her time to tutoring the children and making sure they knew the auditions into Bak School of the Arts.
Melissa went to Lynn University and graduated with a BA in Radio Television Internet Media with a minor in Theatre. in 2011 She interned at ESPN radio stations
Currently she has finished her Masters in Educational Leadership and is a doctoral candidate and she started her journey in education . She became a TV production teacher, she taught her students how to report, do psa’s, and film production. The students were able to edit like they were professionals. She taught them how to do a sports play by play and one of her students was able to interview Dwayne Wade on National TV at the Miami Heat game. She is currently a TV/ Communications teacher to elementary students at U.B Kinsey/ Palmview Elementary School of the Arts. The students get experience in production, script writing, poetry , photography, sports broadcasting, clay and paper animation, video editing, designing advertisements, filming movies, acting for the camera, commercials, special effects makeup, creating documentaries,graphic design, architecture, and TV morning announcements .
Recently her students were in the Boynton film festival and was on the news about the 3D shoe steam project.
.Melissa decided to open a nonprofit with her mother Malinda Starling called “ M & S Community Stars of Performing Arts Inc” She teaches dance, drama, art, vocal , communications to mostly homeless, foster, adopted, and underprivileged children. In the summer, they put on a performing arts play production. It often bring tears of joy to the students families. Majority children are underprivileged and homeless. The children ages are 3 to 17 years of age. They learn to dance, act, sing, do art and build their self-esteem. A lot of the students haven’t been on the stage before but they light up and perform like they’ve been performing for years. .
When she’s done teaching Monday through Friday at 4:00 pm,, she has often take some of the underprivileged students in her car whom attends her program and often feeds a lot of her students before dance with her and her mom ( Mrs.Starling's own money. Melissa thought about having a “ Girls Enrichment Performing Arts Program” where it could be a stepping stone in their life. The enrichment Program builds their confidence, teaching them the love of the arts, no body shaming, feeling comfortable with yourself. The Girl’s Enrichment Program ,after school program, summer camp makes a difference in their lives.
Mrs. Starling , is the mother of Melissa Williams whom is the Director of Performing Arts and youth outreach. Mrs. Starling has been an educator over 30 years. She earned her Masters Degree in Leadership at Nova Southeastern University in 2005. Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education at Nova Southeastern University in 1986. Associate of Science Degree in Mental Health Technology at Palm Beach Junior College in 1978. She is highly qualified in reading, teaching English as a second language, and school leadership skills. She has experience teaching Kindergarten through Adult Education. She has leadership skills experience in Elementary and Middle School. She retired from teaching Elementary School from 1987 to 2016. After one year, she returned to Education as a Tutor in Middle School.
She tutored 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students in reading. She decided to return to her first love as a reading teacher in Middle School. She helps below grade level readers improve their reading skills. She also tutors below level students in Kindergarten through Adults. She has successfully tutored students to read at and above grade level, to learn English as a second language, pass the GED exam, and pass the Citizenship Test. Teaching at a Title 1 middle school where the poverty rate is 96% of students on free and reduced lunch, caring is what they need first, after they know I care then they open up their heart and mind and I can teach them.
Malinda Starling is also talented in the art of dance. As a jazz dance and choreographer, she performed many times on stage in her community. Lake Worth Playhouse as a dancer in the Broadway musical called “Purlie “, Roots festival in Delray Beach, and at talent shows. She taught dance and choreographed many years to poverty level children in schools
She shows her students how to care, by forming relationships with her students and trying to help them find their dreams and strengths so they can believe in themselves the way she believe in them. Either way , she feels that they are the future and have unlimited value. She helps her students with school supplies and with food to eat after school when attending the dance studio. Mrs. starling believes in helping others and especially in helping children be successful.
M & S Community Stars of PERfORming arts and academics - All Rights Reserved.
Inspiring the youth of the arts and education