Melissa Blitzstein is a teacher at the Motivated Youth Academy, a non-classroom-based charter school with 170 students. Blitzstein is committed to learning the unique social, emotional, and academic backgrounds of each student and family. She mentors students in credit recovery, connects stakeholders with wrap-around services, and facilitates college enrollment, career training, or post-graduation employment. In the classroom, Blitzstein engages students in project- based learning opportunities and ensures that students understand responsibility and accountability. She implements restorative solutions rather than punitive actions. She works to create an environment where students gain self confidence, learn commitment, express empathy, experience humility and resiliency, and prepare to become their best selves. Out of the classroom, she leads numerous committees, coordinates countless community initiatives, and inspires her colleagues to be agents of change.