Hometown: Upper Darby, PA
high school: Commonwealth High School
college: Tufts University
Melanie Horton is determined. She’s always striving to accomplish her goals, regardless of what barriers stand in her way. As an African-American girl raised by a disabled, single mother, her passion for learning allowed her to succeed despite her family’s financial troubles. Her ability to ponder the many possibilities that the future may hold has encouraged her to keep moving forward, regardless of her current position.
Melanie has always challenged herself academically. In elementary school she tested into her school district’s gifted program. She received the President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence in both elementary and middle school. As a student committed to excelling academically and giving back to her community, she was inducted into both National Junior Honor Society and National Honor Society. After being accepted into the Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America program, she spent 7 weeks of last summer at Princeton University preparing for college and exploring leadership. This program truly inspired her to further her understanding of African-American inequality through the lens of Psychology. Due to her hard work, Melanie is currently in the top 1% of her graduating class.
Melanie began to explore her interest in the arts through her local library as a young child. Her desk often had multiple novels in it at once. Elementary school further widened her horizons by introducing her to music. She began playing the violin, playing percussion instruments, and singing in her elementary school’s Chorus. After participating in the Star for a Day program, she discovered her love of musical theatre. She carried these pursuits through middle school and into high school by joining many music organizations. After transferring to Commonwealth Connections Academy, Melanie joined the school’s Arts & Humanities Conservatory, which helped her gain an internship at the Arden Theatre. The creativity and divergent thinking that the arts allowed Melanie to develop have had a lasting impact on her life.
Melanie recognizes that the most important aspect of her achievements is her ability to have a positive impact on the world around her. As a Girl Scout, she has participated in many community service projects since she was 5 years old. In 5th grade, she became the Secretary of a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chapter. In middle school, she was a mentor to elementary school girls through Club and Camp Ophelia by teaching them about healthy friendships and the dangers of relationship aggression. She received the American Legion Award for demonstrating courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship, and service. In high school, Melanie was a math tutor as President of Math Lab, a Teen Ambassador at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and a Planning Coordinator for the Girls Justice League.
With Melanie’s commitment to academic excellence, the arts, and community involvement, she hopes to expand upon these interests in college. As a prospective Psychology major, she aspires to use her understanding of people to create lasting change in the world.