From Victim to Survivor, LLC

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THINK OUTSIDE THE GATE


Published in 2017 by XLibris


Written by Melisa Mel

Illustrated by Kendall Pardo


Summary:

THINK OUTSIDE THE GATE is a book dedicated to all those who teach or learn in any type of incarceration environment. It is a compilation of lesson plans and presentation outlines which can be used as examples of how one can incorporate a “THINK OUTSIDE THE GATE” mindset into any type of lesson or prison-life experience.


The “THINK OUTSIDE THE GATE” mindset is a philosophy that Melisa Mel created as the focal point of her lessons and presentations created to address recidivism rates. This philosophy prioritizes keeping the students’ focus on everything and anything outside of their limiting, incarcerating walls. This mindset not only instills hope in the students, but it also better prepares them for that reentry moment when they cross the prison gates to go live back in society.


Melisa Mel feels that better preparing for reentry into society is the most efficient way to ensure a person’s success outside of prison so that they do not return to prison. Her hope is that while working or living behind bars, a “THINK OUTSIDE THE GATE” mindset is present at all times, as that mindset will assist in addressing recidivism at its very core.

A Simple Love Story Between Me and Myself


Published in 2016 by XLibris


Written by Melisa Mel

Illustrated by Melisa Mel






Summary:  This is the story of Mel, a person who struggles through life with gender dysphoria.  She eventually finds her peace with herself.  The story gives hope to those who are struggling within themselves while simultaneously bringing insight to those who do not understand how difficult this personal struggle can be.  


One of Melisa Mel's favorite quotes is "be who you be".  Her brother, Keith Gabriel, said this to her many years ago and the words have come to mean a lot to her.  She has quoted him various times in her publications, including this one.


Melisa Mel feels that there is no reason that we cannot ALL "be who we be".  She states, "There is ample room for everyone and everything on this lovely planet we all share.  How we share the space is up to each and every one of us.  There is no reason we cannot make it work peacefully if we choose to do so".


This story has a message for everyone.  It is appropriate for all ages and all peoples.


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A Simple Love Story Between a Boy and a Boy


Published in 2016 by XLibris


Written by Melisa Mel

Illustrated by Melisa Mel







Summary:  With the legalizing of same-sex marriage in our country, there has been an influx of same-sex couples pursuing their dream of adopting children.

This colorful book with simple wording and simple illustrations takes one through the true story of a loving same-sex couple who pursued their dream of becoming parents.  Initially, their love survived the military years of "Don't ask.  Don't tell."   Years later, their love survived times when it was not safe to admit they were together as a couple.  Finally after almost twenty years together, they were able to get legally married and have that union acknowledged by all.   Their joy was fulfilled when they went through the adoption process and became Daddies.  

This book is a gem for anyone who cares to open their mind regarding diversity and the different shapes of families we see today in our society.  It is written with much sensitivity and in very child-friendly language.

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Victims and Survivors


Published in 2014 by XLibris


Written by Melisa Mel





Summary:  Volunteering in her metro area provided Melisa Mel many opportunities to meet interesting people with stories to tell.  These characters have felt violated, cheated, confused, scared, insecure, ashamed, guilty, impotent and many times numb with shock over their situations.  Mel has recorded their stories here.


Readers who care about others will find that they cannot put this book down.  One story leads into another quickly.  The stories are true eye-openers as to what is going on in our very own streets no matter where we live.  


Each story has an applicable quote and a "Points to Ponder" section immediately after to facilitate group discussion and/or personal reflection. 


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Victims and Survivors 2


Published in 2015 by XLibris


Written by Melisa Mel





Summary:  Melisa Mel's adventures continue as she works on tirelessly volunteering with vulnerable populations in the city.  She choose to follow through with a second volume as her first book was so well received.  Readers wanted more!  Victims and Survivors 2 is as emotionally enlightening about human nature as was Victims and Survivors.    Clearly there is much work to be done on the streets.  Mel is willing and prepared to do it.


Join Mel as you read of her adventures and experiences.  Awareness of what is happening is the first step in creating change.  Together, a shift in thinking can make a big difference for many.


Once again,  each story has an applicable quote and a "Points to Ponder" section immediately after to facilitate group discussion and/or personal reflection.


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The Great Wall of POPAT: A journal of a lesbian's adventures getting through police academy

Published in 2013 by XLibris

Written by Melisa Mel
Illustrated by Kendall Pardo


Summary:  Deciding to change careers from a Special Education teacher in a public school to becoming a Law Enforcement Officer is no small feat!  Especially, at the age of 43!  This true story is based on Melisa Mel's adventures as she goes through police academy.  

Whether working in law enforcement or not, you will find Mel's tales amusing and touching.  You will find yourself holding your sides laughing at times and crying at other times.  Join Mel in her struggles as she shares her experiences seeing things through the eyes of a mature lesbian who wants nothing more than to be an officer.  Her narration will entertain you and move you!

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Mel's Adaptive Physical Education Program


Published in 2014 by XLibris


Written by Melisa Mel

Photography by Phyllis Lessor and Rosie Brizuela



Summary:  This program is designed for those who are extremely limited in motion due to physical and/or cognitive capabilities. It was created in honor of Melisa Mel's students who needed such a program.  The photography all takes place in the classroom with Mel and her students.  


This book is beneficial to any who work with people who have severe disabilities and/or who are elderly.  Additionally, it gives reader a peak into what a classroom with Severe Disabilities might look like.  The book is packed with photos in the hope that the reader will find this program not only beneficial but fun as well.  It is certainly entertaining to see all the activities in which the students participate and how Mel encourages them to do the best they can. 


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Mel's Circle Time! Mel's Oval Time!


Published in 2015 by XLibris


Written by Melisa Mel

Photography by Phyllis Lessor and Rosie Brizuela



Summary:  The concept of Mel's Circle Time!  Mel's Oval Time! developed quite naturally in response to a need that presented itself in the author's Special Needs classroom.  Afternoons were hard on the students and the afternoon hours were hard for the students.  Upon reflection, it occurred to Mel that the students would become motivated and focused in the mornings thanks to her Circle Time activities.  She created an Oval Time activity for the afternoons.  The activities were successful!


Whether working in a classroom or any other setting, this book will come in handy for ideas.  Melisa Mel has not only used this program successfully in her Special Needs classroom, but also in  Homes for elderly people, Shelters for  homeless people, Shelters for domestic violence, and in typically functioning classrooms.  In all cases, the participants enjoyed it!


The plethora of pictures in the book is amusing and entertaining.  Mel's own students cooperated to have their pictures included in this project.


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