Mel you will be missed! You only just told us that you are retiring From Victim to Survivor and already I miss you. I understand you going on to pursue your writing full-time and I wish you the very, very, very best. Follow your dreams and keep on keeping on. We love you! Much success to you!
Dec 2017 Kris R (Case Manager)
Clearly, the Cargo Pants Girl has proven what an amazing business woman and educator she is in all the areas she has worked. Everything from DV and SV, and Eating Disorders, and Communication, and even Policing Issues have been presented with such empathy and high education. Wow! I have enjoyed Mel tremendously. She will be extremely successful in her future plans and I know she will do wonderfully. Best wishes to you Mel!
Dec 2017 Bonnie C (Court Translator)
Mel's articles have educated me and entertained me for three wonderful years. Those articles will be greatly missed as will Mel's events in the community. I wish Mel the best in her endeavors and much success. Thank you for your generous and self-less service!
Dec 2017 Steven T (Police Officer)
I am sad to see Mel retiring her company as her events will be greatly missed in the community. I cannot imagine not having her articles to read regularly. I will miss those. However, her success is something that she takes with her on her writing career and I could not be happier that Mel is able to follow her dreams of writing full-time. I look forward to reading more of her books.
Dec 2017 Jim L (Public Defender)
Spending time today at Mel's event was so very enlightening. I enjoyed it thoroughly and I know anyone that goes to see her will love it. She is certainly an SME (Subject Matter Expert) in everything related to victims!
Nov 2017 Carla M (CASA worker)
I had the fortune of being able to see Mel in various of her workshops and presentations. She has never let me down in the least bit. Every single time I have attended one of her events, she has wowed me with her knowledge and style of presentation. I look forward to seeing more of her.
Nov 2017 Linda W (Social Worker)
Mel brought a case study to our workshop that clearly indicated to us how in the past some systems had failed victims of crime. She was a great inspiration to me as an advocate because I can make sure I am a good open resource for people and their children. She was very motivating to me.
Oct 2017 Katia R (Family Consultant)
Mel presented us with stories that ran so much deeper for our understanding of victims and perpetrators. She really brought home the importance of looking at things by thinking outside of the box and non judgmentally. I appreciated her take on that and I believe it will make me much better at what I do. I liked Mel's approach very much.
Oct 2017 Hughes K (Advocate)
I really enjoyed how very relatable and easy to understand Mel was. She gave us a great workshop to build empathy and inspire us in this very tough work we do. I am so thankful for her honesty and openness in speaking.
Oct 2017 Henie J (Case Manager)
Mel's presentation was the very first training I have been to where there is an emphasis in understanding the criminal mind as well as that of others that are affected by the crime (i.e. victim and first responders) I feel this is so important in what we do as advocates to relate to our clients.
Sept 2017 Ida M (Advocate)
What I liked most about Mel's presentation was her obvious vast knowledge of the subject and her ability to explain, relate, and bread down the cycle and victimology. It was also very interesting to be in the mind of an abuser. We heard Mel speak at the JUST conference earlier this year and that why me and my team came back to hear you present again. Mel is awesome!
Sept 2017 Edward T (Social Worker)
There are so many things I loved about Mel's presentation...her honesty, her peace, her impact, the surprises, and how strong she is. God put her in this place to help others like me that need it. For that I am thankful.
July 2017 Maria P. (Secretary)
Year after year I have chosen classes, and have been through a few trainings with the same instructor on different topics. They tend to overlap each other or have the same training materials. I took all but two of your classes this year, and they were all so amazing. They were all different, no content was ever repeated. You can tell this is something you are truly passionate about and thoroughly enjoy doing, and for that I appreciate you and your time. I hope that you are asked to return for more COJET training. Thank you for your time, knowledge, and passion
June 2017 Shelley B.M. (Court Administration)
Mel came and shared her story with a group of survivors and she touched each of them so very deeply! Truly an inspirational person who gives from her heart!
June 2017 Joyce M. (Survivor Group Facilitator)
Mel is very engaging and encourages wonderful interactions bringing great freedom to discuss. She is an expert, she is scholarly, she is humble, she is a researcher, she is way more than what she appears to be! The class was awesome! Thank you! I cannot think of a single thing that I would change from how Mel presented to us!
June 2017 Karen M. (Employment Coordinator)
You have a sweet personality; demeanor; style. You have a gift for connecting with people. Your group activities and your compassionate attitude brought out the thoughtfulness of your presentation. Thank you Mel! I wish we worked together.
June 2017 Victoria R. (Officer Assistant)
Mel's caring for all of us was clear to me in everything she said. She was honest, real, knowledgeable, understanding and accepting. When she explained the concept of normalizing, I felt very empowered and motivated because I finally understood things about myself. Her visit to our group was very timely. I would love to hear more from her.
May 2017 T. T. (Realtor)
I was so inspired by your words today! The calm manner in which you explained everything was very helpful...I hope one day to be strong enough to become an advocate and carry a similar message to others. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
May 2017 B R (Waitress)
I liked the presentation and the insight on trauma and sexual abuse. It was an inspiring and authentic message that you brought. This was one of the best presentations and I cannot wait to read some of Mel's books!
Apr 2017 Klein P (Public Defender)
Mel presents with a naked honesty that is extremely refreshing. She is an excellent communicator, knows her stuff, brings helpful resources, and keeps the audience completely engaged! Fantastic!
Apr 2017 Sylvia B (Public Defender)
I loved Mel's honesty and clear approach. She does not mince words and addressed issues that others are not even comfortable speaking about. She was able to do this and keep us all comfortable in the audience. I would love to attend more of her events.
Mar 2017 Mark K (Veteran)
Mel, I was and am very appreciative of your presentation, your enthusiasm and demeanor and the way in which you engaged with all of us. You brought us in a little for that. I thank you! The presentation was beyond great!
Jan 2017 Mariana M (Counselor)
"I loved the depth of the topic and how it encompassed everything and everyone. I loved the sincerity and the authenticity of Mel's training. She is very thorough and knowledgeable. She has a very open approach and much compassion for victims and those affected by any time of abuse. Loved it!
Jan 2017 Beeva S (Behavioral Health Worker)
"Mel was very eye opening for me. It was great to hear stories of those who can overcome the terrible things that have happened to them and give back to other victims of abuse. Hearing her training reminded me of many victims I have come in contact with over the years. This training helped me to feel stronger and not burn out. Thank you, Mel!"
Dec 2016 Kiarra P (Social Worker)
"I found Mel to be very real and very thorough. She shared in a very non-judgmental way. It was a pleasure to hear her speak. Her work was informative, honest, real and down-to-earth. Very honest and I wish we could have had more time to have a longer class. It was so inspiring to all of us!"
Nov 2016 Sandra J (DCS Worker)
"Mel kept the audience entranced with her work. She came across as someone who's priority it is to help others and she is a wealth of knowledge. Very authentic to the core."
Nov 2016 George K (Police Officer)
"My eyes have been opened up like never before. One day I do hope to share my story to help others understand that we all have issues. Thank you for being so encouraging and all your hard work. You being so non judgmental really helped me feel comfortable and accepted. Everyone should go hear you speak!"
Oct 2016 Mark G (On probation)
"I was energized by the "cargo pants girl" to step out of any comfort zone I was in to make 100% effort to support and serve law enforcement whenever necessary. I loved the slant she put on explaining the mental/emotional demands of law enforcement. There is a much needed humanization of our police and this campaign does just that! This should be presented in all of our schools."
Oct 2016 Gary R (Arizona Ranger)
"I came to class a bit skeptical because many of the training I go to can be so boring. However Mel opened my eyes on real life and the activities were super interesting. Mel raised my awareness and I think I will make a much better advocate thanks to what I learned. She is very open and down to earth. Mel is very personable, upfront, and outspoken. She is impactful."
Sept 2016 Amanda P (Victim Advocate)
"The activities were amazing. Mel's knowledge and experiences enrich her presentation so much! She is amazing and I admire how far she has come and all that she does."
Sept 2016 Justin R (Para Professional)
"Mel does not sugarcoat and her sincerity and up front speaking is so refreshing. She was informative and was able to keep all the group engaged to participate and express what they feel. I love her relational dynamics discussion and perspective. Her passion is evident in all she said and all the preparation she obviously puts in her work. Best training I have been to in a long time!"
Sept 2016 John S. (Probation Officer)
"I love how open and genuine Mel is. She is so smart in the way she delivers her information to the group. She stays on schedule with the agenda and uses different techniques during the presentation, videos, group activities, having the audience speak, etc. I hope to hear her speak again at a future training!"
Aug 2016 Dimitri P. (School District Worker)
"I loved how thoughtful, honest you were. It helped me to refocus on how I react to some of my clients. I enjoyed how heartfelt your presentation was. Your teaching style reflects just how very knowledgeable you are and how passionate you are about helping others. Your energy and thinking outside of the box was very contagious! Thank you! Great job!"
Aug 2016 Kim J. (Social Worker)
"It was so wonderful to attend your training and hear the appreciation and honor shown towards police officers. I could see those in the audience were really responding and getting a deeper appreciation for just how tough and self-sacrificing an officers' job can be. I think your "Cops are Cool 'Cause They Care" campaign should be an obligatory class in schools. Americans ALL need to hear this presentation...especially these days when so many officers are being depreciated! Thank you so much for creating this campaign!"
July 2016 Matt R. (Local Businessman)
" Thank you Mel for the respect you showed about law enforcement. That is something rarely shown nowadays and you spoke so positively about police. You came across so humble and genuine. It made you easy to listen to. I appreciate your humility."
June 2016 Joy F. (Court official)
"You're an awesome person. It is such a powerful testament to you. Your will and your inner strength is inspirational; your energy is infectious. These qualities along with your level of commitment to helping others is unparalleled. If we could only clone you, so there were 50 Mels out there helping to save our communities."
June 2016 Ted B. (Police Officer)
"I love Mel's personal aspect. She is very moving, real, authentic, genuine, non-judgmental, and honest with all walls down. I like her straight forwardness and how she does not sugar coat anything. She knows what she is talking about!"
June 2016 Misha P. (Public Defender)
"I commend Mel for sharing true stories about LGBTQ overcoming barriers with humor and love. I like how she looks at situations in a positive way. She speaks the truth and isn't afraid to be who she is."
June 2016 Terry H. (Social Worker)
"Mel is thoughtful, funny, and imaginative. I love Mel's positive outlook on life and how she puts a positive twist on negative things. I will contact Mel to come present at our place."
June 2016 Vinnie C. (LGBTQ Facilitator)
"I just left your training and I have to say thank you for everything you do to help victims of abuse. You are an amazing person and you have touched me deeply. I will never forget you!"
May 2016 Veronica C. (Teacher)
"Mel was able to bring the ugly in and show how to turn it into something positive. Her passion and experience working with victims is highly evident. Her manner of delivery and vocal expression was impressive. I would love to attend any other training provided by her."
May 2016 Patricia M. (Psychologist)
"Mel displayed a sound approach to mental health concerns. She hit upon coping skills right on the nail and removed guilt and shame from the picture. I will take much of what I heard to work with other victims. What consideration and sensitivity she displayed towards victims as she spoke! I loved it! It was mind-blowing."
Apr 2016 Chrystal D. (Clinician)
"I was very impressed with Mel's transparency and willingness to share. I admire how well spoken she was about topics which can be controversial and uncomfortable. She was very natural and down-to-earth. I could see everyone in the room was at ease thanks to her style. She is a great speaker and presenter. Kudos to her!"
Apr 2016 Hope F. (Probation Officer)
"I loved Mel's presentation!!! It was very interactive, very real, trauma-informed, and extremely knowledgeable. I really felt comfortable since Mel was gender non-conformative! She really knows her stuff. I would recommend her to anybody for their presentation and workshop needs."
Mar 2016 Colleen T. (Social Worker)
" I would recommend Melisa as a valuable asset to any survivor related project or presentation. Her keen understanding of the dynamics of victimization, paired with her compassion, professionalism and ability to reach audiences and individuals on a personal level brings any project in which she participates to the next level."
Dec 2015 Ginger B. (Director of Programs)
“Thank you so much for speaking at our Domestic Violence Awareness kick-off. Your story was not only compelling to me but to everyone in attendance. I know many of our Pinal County residents are dealing with domestic abuse. Hopefully your story will help them, giving them the courage to move forward.”
Oct 2015 M. Lando Voyles (Pinal County Attorney)
“Thank you so very much for speaking on Sex Trafficking/Human Trafficking. The information that you provided was very informative and helpful to become more aware of Human Trafficking and Sex Trafficking that happens globally, in the United States and here in Arizona. The information on who is most at risk and the warning signs was particularly good to become more aware of the problem and to recognize victims to help. Thank you for being such a great speaker and for taking the time to interact both during the presentation and after. You are a great community resource. I am really so grateful for the work that you do for the community for preventing domestic violence and human trafficking, for providing victims assistance, and community education.”
-Nov, 2015 Linda H (Sociology Faculty)
“It was such a pleasure hearing your story. I was touched by your words, and the job that you now do for women and men in our community. I just want to express how your words touched me, and motivated me to do something to help women and men in need.”
Oct 2015 Rachel C. (Program Coordinator)
“In the years I have known Mel, I have never met a more dedicated and thought provoking person to the causes that were close to her heart. She is a tremendous advocate for people in her community who need someone to advocate for them. Her voice is what we need to keep our community vital and strong.”
Nov 2015 George F (Public School Educator)
“Mel is amazing. She balances incredible strength and a very high work ethic with a gentleness and an ability to make herself approachable to all those she works with. Mel is uniquely capable of bringing a sense of calm, a sense of hope and a great deal of trust to those she serves, working with folks whose ability to achieve calm, hopefulness and trust is often very low. She is an asset in any capacity!”
Jan 2015 Michele R (County Program Supervisor)
“I would like everyone to know how profound an experience I had with Melisa Mel. She is a complete professional, efficient to the bone with her time yet has an amazing sense of humor and enjoys everyone she meets. I highly recommend Mel. She will blow you away.”
Dec 2014 Robin G (Recovery Support Specialist)
“Mel puts forth much effort and empathy with the youth who were struggling with their sexual orientation and LGBT related issues. She thinks outside of the box and reaches the students on their level. I've seen students go from struggling with suicidal thoughts to holding their heads up high and proud of who they are. Mel was a wonderful role model for students. She is a great example of a strong, educated woman who stands up for who she is but in a kind, respectful, balanced and diplomatic way. I applaud her work. “
Dec 2014 Sylvia M (Businesswoman/Para Professional)
“Since I was first introduced to Mel I have had many interactions with her in our community. I have found Melisa to always be professional and compassionate in all who she deals with. What has impressed me the most is that Melisa dedicates thousands of hours of her time and often her own money in helping others. Melisa, has a heart of pure gold! She consistently uses her experience and education in helping others and without a doubt has been a blessing to those she has interacted with.”
Dec 2014 Thomas P (Police Officer/Adjunct Faculty)
“I would recommend Melisa for whatever endeavor she sets out to do! It's her dedication and perseverance that gives the assurance of a successful outcome. Mel has a great sense of caring for others and doing the right thing. She works really hard to stay true to her values.”
Nov 2013 Debbie K (Realtor/Firearms Instructor)
“I hope you realized the effect that you create and how much you’re appreciated! You are so inspirational whether you are speaking or leading. You are such a great influence and I wish that your attitude could be spread. Thank you for everything.”
May 2012 Shannon E (Student)