iJAG Color Logo
Melanny Garcia Flores

Student Spotlight: “If it doesn’t fit my morals and goals, it doesn’t deserve my time.”

Melanny Garcia Flores came to the United States in September 2016 from El Salvador. She was held at an immigration center for two months in Texas until her uncle was able to get custody and take her to New York. In July 2019  she came to Storm Lake to live with her aunt. This journey was very difficult for a nine-year-old girl, nevertheless, she took it as an inspiration to work hard realizing that she’d have better opportunities than her siblings and would make her parents proud. 

Melanny joined iJAG as an eighth grader and has remained in the program because she feels that iJAG gives her a better perspective of what she can do in her community. She also states that iJAG helps her stay focused in school, keeps her values in line, and supports her in achieving her goals. For her, our classroom is a safe space where she can set an example for others while demonstrating how to be respectful and gain a boost in confidence.  

Melanny has become a leader in iJAG through the State Career Association (SCA). This year, she was elected to serve as Vice President with three other student leaders. Through her leadership role with SCA, Melanny has participated in legislative days at the Iowa Capitol with her Storm Lake program, organized a student-led fundraiser, supported her classmates when they needed help and so much more. At her high school, she pursued choir while working closely with Superintendent Dr. Stacy Cole on special projects and conversations that influence the larger school community. Melanny wants to pursue her dream career and become a lawyer. This was her father’s dream for her, who continues to be a role model in her life.

Melanny lives by her quote,  “If it doesn’t fit my morals and goals, it doesn’t deserve my time.”  This quote means that she evaluates every situation to see if it aligns with her goals or is just something that’s a waste of time. Melanny knows that having a strong moral compass and sustainable goals will help her decision-making process for her future!