Since the ripe age of thirteen, Melissa Wyatt has lead efforts to strengthen her community and advocate for the marginalized. Growing up in a low-income, minority community in Bakersfield, CA, Wyatt observed numerous disparities needing to be reconciled. When Wyatt moved to Los Angeles in 2001, she was overwhelmed with how one of the wealthiest states in the world also embodied one of the most severe displays of poverty and despair in the First World. As such, she set out to address the issues facing children who live in the inner city of Los Angeles.
In 2004, Wyatt founded grassroots nonprofit, Foundation for Second Chances (FFSC), whose mission is to utilize hand-on education, mentoring, health awareness and community service to maximize the potential of youth. She founded FFSC out her own financial means, and has continued to support and grow it, through her own financial contributions and investments. Wyatt has committed to keeping FFSC a grassroots nonprofit, in order that it never becomes too far removed from the direct community and the voices of its citizens. Additionally, even as an Executive Director who leads the development and operational side of FFSC, she involves herself in the direct services of many of the agency’s program, which illustrates how deeply she cares for the communities FFSC serves.