Mamiverse is delighted to announce the Bronze Honoree and winner of a $1,000 Target GiftCard in our Latina Moms Changing America Contest, Melissa Barrera Sosa! She, and all of the fantastic nominees, deserve a round of applause for sharing their stories, sharing themselves, and inspiring all of us to be the best moms and daughters we can be.
Melissa Barrera Sosa is the hard working mother of three boys. She teaches English and ESL to middle school students in Brownsville, Texas. Melissa not only inspires her students to succeed, she inspires her family and her community with her dedication, perseverance, and faith. A woman who wears many hats including wife, mother, daughter, teacher, mentor, and friend, she wears all of them with pride.
Rachel Barrera, who nominated her sister Melissa for the Latina Moms Changing America contest, describes her as “one of the most talented and intelligent women you will ever meet.” She praises Melissa’s passion for teaching and her selfless commitment to making a difference in her student’s lives. All parents rely on teachers like Melissa to help their children reach their full potential and achieve their dreams.
Married to her husband Emilio for 16 years, family plays a central role in Melissa’s life. She encourages her sons to participate in numerous sports and school activities and she participates right along with them coaching the drill team, soccer, and basketball. If that weren’t enough, she is also the Booster Club secretary.
Like so many of the Latina Moms Changing America nominees, Melissa has an endless (and seemingly effortless) supply of energy and drive. She attended college right after graduating from high school but decided to leave after two years to marry and focus on starting a family. At 29, she returned to college earning a 4.0 GPA and numerous awards during the two years it took to finish her degree. Her can-do attitude and determination to finish what she had started not only allowed Melissa to pursue her own career, it served as a wonderful example to her children and her siblings, proving that it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Her 41-year-old sister recently enrolled in college inspired by Melissa’s success!
Faith and church are also extremely important to Melissa—she loves singing in her church choir and never misses a Sunday. Gospel music is a particular favorite, especially Just the Beginning by Kurt Carr and the traditional How Great Thou Art. She enchants audiences with her beautiful voice as a soloist in the South Texas Mass Choir.
Rachel describes one of her and Melissa’s favorite moments (and a wonderful example of the amazing impact Melissa has on her students): “She was the class sponsor for a group of students for all four years that they were in high school.” They asked her to sing a song for them at their graduation; she was overcome by emotion and broke down in the middle of her performance. The entire class left their seats and gathered around Melissa, hugging her. Rachel, who was in the audience burst into tears, too.
Melissa Barrera Sosa is a Latina Mom Changing America by being a passionate teacher, a loving parent, a shining example, and by touching everyone in her life. Caring, committed, and involved educators are essential for motivating children to reach for the stars and create a bright future for themselves, their families and ultimately, all of us. Rachel Barrera also deserves praise for recognizing her sister’s positive influence and for showing her love in supporting her through all of her endeavors. This kind of family bond is priceless and helps women like Melissa do all that they do.