Recommendation letter written by Melissa's principal at Donnell Middle School, Don Williams
Recommendation letter written by Melissa's co-teacher/mentor at Donnell Middle School, Angela Dittman
Recommendation letter written by Melissa's student
teaching classroom mentor teacher, Blayze Behney
Recommendation letter written by Melissa's student teaching university mentor, Tamara Miller
Recommendation letter written by Melissa's student
teaching cooperating teacher, Jeanette Greenslade
Recommendation letter written by the founder of RallyCap
Sports, Paul Hooker
Recommendation letter written by two-time State President of the Ohio Association of Supervisors and Work-Study Coordinators, JoAnn Welker
"Since the first time I met her, Melissa Wilson has impressed me with her poise, and palpable passion for improving the lives of individuals with extra needs. After having the chance to get to know her more, I discovered just how big her heart truly is, and how extremely dedicated she is to helping people of all backgrounds and abilities. She will surely flourish, transitioning from a responsible, involved college student into a hard-working, impactful young professional in this world!"
-Renee Canfield, Director of Down Syndrome Association of Greater Toledo
"I have had the privilege of knowing Melissa for the last seven years. During that time she has been nothing but kind and helpful to everyone she has come into contact with. In regards to her role with our students with special needs, she worked daily with students and supported their learning goals through her efforts. It is without question, that I can wholeheartedly recommend her for an intervention specialist position within your school district."
-Mark Smithberger, Strongsville High School Principal
"I worked with Melissa as first a parent mentor in an undergraduate class at BGSU, and then as a fellow executive director of a nonprofit that serves children with disabilities. Melissa is one of the most passionate individuals I know. Her dedication to making the world a better place is her driving force. Her commitment to those with disabilities is not only admirable, but infectious. The manner that she has been able to grow the Rally Cap program, not only at her home campus, but also across the state of Ohio is astounding."
-Elizabeth McIntosh, NWO Apraxia Support Director
"Melissa Wilson is an amazing young woman who I had a the privilege of working with for several years when she worked our summer camp for school age children. We had one child who had spinal bifida and several with severe behaviors. Her gentleness, kindness and patience never ceased to amaze me. I would overhear her talking, playing and kindly disciplining these children. She always got through to them. And the children who did not have any special needs gravitated to her. On rainy days when plans had to be changed, she was never hassled by that. She came up with alternative activities. She created daily activities for the kids on a very limited budget. Melissa would be an asset to any program.
"Melissa worked in our ice cream production area as well customer service. Melissa learned her job quickly and became one of our most productive employees. She worked extremely well with other employees, management and customers. Melissa was very dependable and had an outstanding work ethic, she was a great representative the Dairy Queen brand and our business. Melissa also has a passion for working with special needs people, she was the cornerstone for Project Support during her High School years and assisted in coaching Special Olympic athletes in Strongsville. Being a Special Olympic coach, I was able to witness her love for working the the kids and their love for her. Melissa is a special person that has the passion and desire to succeed. I am confident that she would be a valuable asset to any position.
"As the Coordinator of the Family Life Child Care Center and Summer Camp program. I found Melissa to be very valuable to our summer camp program. As a teacher Melissa created an environment that was nurturing, safe and provided quality learning opportunities daily. I was impressed with her patience, compassion and integrity. At times Melissa dealt with challenging behavior obstacles with kindness and caring that guided her through her daily work. Melissa was a wonderful asset to our program."
-Kathy Dahl, OhioGuidestone Family Life Child Care Center Coordinator
"Melissa's heart, desire, and passion to help kids with special needs is amazing. The minute our son Zane walked through those doors to his first session at RallyCap he was greeted with open arms by Melissa and her staff. She treats all of these kids with the upmost respect and sees them for who they are…and we are thankful for that. Even though these kids may be special in their own way, Melissa always find a way to look for the abilities in each one of them."
-Glenn Renner, RallyParent
"To say that Melissa has impacted my life is such a lazy way to reflect such an amazing, giving, driven, and compassionate human and her continuous effect on my life. Six years after having Melissa as a student, she has continued to teach me. She has inspired me with her sheer dedication to making the world of education better and her countless efforts to assure every child who crosses her path, that he or she matters. While she has been versed in all that is needed to be academically successful within the classroom, Melissa's greatest success will come from her innate abilities to build profound and lasting relationships. People know they matter to her and even the students with the toughest of needs, are proven to be given opportunities with Melissa that they wouldn't have otherwise. She is truly a model teacher that all educators should aspire to emulate."
"Melissa was a wonderful student to have in class. Her passion for working with people with special needs is contagious. She worked hard not only in class but with her nonprofit, RallyCap Sports as well. Melissa’s character and work ethic reminded me to have faith in the next generation of special educators. She has definitely left a permanent mark on me!"
"Melissa is such a kindhearted person that is very driven. She made the Rally Cap program at BGSU welcoming to families of children with special needs. She is always thinking about how to help or include families. She is so kind to my son that has Down syndrome. I look forward to seeing her and you would be lucky to have her as an employee."
"I've had the pleasure of getting to know Melissa through the Rally Cap Sports program she is involved with at BGSU. Our oldest child was born completely blind and Melissa has encouraged her from the beginning (just like she does with EACH child) that she can both learn how to play and participate in sports just like any other kid her age! Melissa's warm smile and kind heart just draw you in from the moment you meet her. Her fierce love for kids with special needs and her message that inclusion is within everyone's ability are two things we love about her most!!"
-Jill Ibsen, RallyParent
"Melissa also introduced me to RallyCap Sports. I have known many of the families who have participated in RallyCap and they all have wonderful things to say about the program and specifically about Melissa. The parents see how much she truly cares about their children and young adults. One family attends from over an hour away so their daughter who is about 18 years old can have such a positive experience with college students. I attended one of the basketball practices so I could see firsthand the program. There were about 50 students and Melissa knew all of their names and most if not all of the parents."
-Michelle Self, Ph.D, BGSU Professor of Special Education