Mission: Student Futures is a company that wants to help students maintain success through high school, college and beyond. With a holistic approach we create educational opportunities, resources, products, and guidance that help students accomplish their goals and navigate life’s challenges. Thus, making them lifelong learners. Student Futures believes ALL students can succeed.
Hi. I’m Melanie Black, an educator and author who is passionate about helping others and learning all I can in the process. With over twelve years of experience in the field of education, I have worked with hundreds of students. I am determined to help students succeed in school and life. I am on an uncompromising mission to help others achieve success, and to lead by example. I have worked with and volunteered with several local organizations in Jacksonville, FL such as Communities in Schools, Junior Achievement, Pace Center for Girls, Duval County Public Schools’ Challenge Day events, Take Stock in Children, and Generation WOW. Scroll down to learn more about me and read my story.
I am a proud Canadian who was born in Toronto to two incredible parents. My mother was born in Canada and of British and French descent. My dad was born in Guyana and grew up in Trinidad and Barbados. He is of Portuguese and Scottish descent. So I am pretty much a mutt like most people. I am proud of my family tree and have always enjoyed hearing stories from the past.
As a teenager I struggled a lot and went through several phases. My future was uncertain and unpredictable. Read HERE about my struggles in school that led to the idea of Student Futures.
While studying in college my French professor offered me the opportunity to go to Paris and it was on that trip I caught the travel bug. After university I traveled to the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Australia. Still on my bucket list are South Africa, Scotland, Western USA and Canada, and more.
I graduated from UNF with a degree in Social Sciences for Secondary Education. Shortly after I started working as a middle school social studies teacher. I had no idea what I was in for. This experience was life changing. I taught a variety of subjects for 8 years. It was rewarding and a huge learning experience. I met so many amazing people, students and teachers, who helped me grow in many ways.
I met Wesley in 2009 and fell in love with his big heart, sense of humor, and will for adventure. Somehow I got lucky and he married me. He is my rock, my person.
In 2012 our first child was born. I was nervous, scared, joyful, and excited all at once. Parenting is an emotional rollercoaster. Conrad is a creative and inquisitive boy who loves building, drawing, anything outside, and video games. He is also a ninja in training on his way to earning a black belt. He is smarter than me and I know he is meant for great things.
Running became a huge passion for Wes and I. We have run many races together and separate. We have run races as a family. Conrad has earned 7 medals. Personally, I have run in over 30 races. One of which was Donna Marathon (26.2) to raise awareness and money for a cure for breast cancer. This is a cause near and dear to my heart. I am grateful for the experience and ability to finish.
After leaving my job teaching I started my own business, Student Futures, as an Academic Coach for teens. Working with teenagers and helping them succeed is a passion of mine. I have created several resources and products to help students succeed and I donate profits to teachers. I struggled hard as a student and through Student Futures I am able to give others who are struggling resources and products to be successful. Read HERE what students are saying about working with me.
In 2016 our daughter, Genevieve, was born. She is a strong-willed, creative girl who wants to help others. She says she was “born to sing” and loves being a Girl Scout Daisy and swimming. She continues to help me grow. I love Genna’s positive energy. She shares it where ever she goes making people smile.
I discovered yoga in 2010 while training for the River Run. My life changed forever when a friend invited me to a free class. I left feeling cleansed and rejuvenated. I was hooked! After our daughter was born my husband got me a gift card to a local studio. Another life changer! I started practicing there a few times a week. Eventually, I graduated from their 200 hr YTT program. Later, I enrolled and completed a kids yoga teaching program through Kidding Around Yoga. I enjoy teaching kids and adults yoga.
I was born a chocoholic. Every night I eat a piece of dark chocolate. It makes me happy. You should do what makes you happy.
I was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic in July, 2021. Read my story HERE. This flipped my life upside down and turned every day into a rollercoaster.My pancreas has stopped fighting but I haven’t! While I have my diabetes under control I continue to struggle mentally each day with this illness. Music always lifts my spirits. Check out my Spotify playlist, TD1 Fighter.
Education & Professional Development
- Associate Certified Academic Life Coach through Academic Life Coaching (ALC) certification program
- Mindful Schools educator training K-12
- Yoga Teacher (200hr YTT)
- Kidding Around Yoga Teacher Training
- Drexel University: Studied international education
- University of North Florida: Bachelors Degree in Social Sciences for Secondary Education
- Youth Mental Health First Aid Training