Melissa has always loved science, attending NASA’s Space Camp and Pilot Camp, but when it came to reading the textbooks, she struggled.

Melissa was diagnosed with dyslexia in the second grade and started working with a specialist. Her classmates teased her and though she was upset, she decided to do her oral reports on learning disabilities.

She noted that through her presentations, "(she) learned the valuable lesson that educating people about differences brings understanding and acceptance."

She’s created her own website as well, to provide both students and parents with tips for dealing with dyslexia.

Melissa is still pursuing her interests in science — she created a summer science camp for girls where she demonstrates her favorite hands-on experiments and even got Dr. Sally Ride, the first woman in space, to meet the campers!

Currently, Melissa is a freshman engineering student at Pomona College/Caltech and a 2012 Buick Achiever National Scholarship winner.

You can read more about her story over at NBC News Education Nation.