Inspiring Kids (Camp Springs, MD)
(Published Originally 09.30.16 on ARTISCEND.COM)
Written By J. Randolph
Inspiration is an art-form. It requires an understanding of what motivates people and the ability to direct energy. By this definition, Roxanna Melgar is an artist. In 2006, after purchasing her first home with her husband, she started her own daycare service aptly called “Inspiring Kids” and she’s dedicated her life to doing just that.
Melgar served as a teacher-assistant and childcare professional for many years. While tutoring for Catholic University’s early childhood education program, Melgar was encouraged by family and friends to explore working as a daycare professional fulltime. She jumped at the opportunity to use her own space as the foundation for her business and a ten-year journey of professional childhood care and development began.
Melgar has instructed dozens of kids, some now on their way to graduating from high school. While some facilities are happy just to occupy young minds until their parents return, Melgar has focused to help mold kids into responsible and compassionate citizens. She emphasizes the importance of “life-skills”. The staff regularly teaches gardening, cooking, construction, and recently even began a S.T.E.M program with the kids—some as young as a few months
The neighborhood can attest to seeing everything from pony shows to good old fashioned moon-bounces and fire trucks in her front yard—all of which are part of programs she uses to educate and inspire.
But perhaps Melgar’s greatest gift and passion is teaching her kids the importance of community and charity. At every opportunity, Melgar journeys with her kids to local orphanages and homeless shelters both to give back and to teach the kids the importance of appreciation. A longstanding partnership with Miriam’s Kitchen in downtown Washington DC has allowed the kids to serve food and provide resources to disenfranchised youth and elders across the region. However, Melgar doesn’t see this as an opportunity to “give back”; in her words, “it’s about teaching them social responsibility and letting them know that it’s [our] job to take care of each other”.
Melgar is a living example of what she teaches. A victim of in-care abuse herself, she has dedicated herself to providing not only a positive learning environment but a safe place where kids can develop and grow. When asked what legacy she wanted to leave behind, Melgar replied “I want [the kids] to know that I love them and I hope that they are inspired to make a difference in this world and that they pass it down to their kids”.
She continued, “there’s a lot of darkness sometimes and I just want them to remember the positive, the beautiful [and] the good [and use that] to overcome it”.
Melgar isn’t content with just moving kids forward in the realm of academics. She is committed and devoted to inspiring them to be conscious, compassionate, and responsible citizens. She continues to learn and progress everyday and encourages her kids to do the same. Although her business name might lead you to believe differently, this woman is not only “Inspiring Kids”, but inspiring an entire community-old and young. In a society where aptitude and academic achievement are so crucial to success, Melgar has managed to focus on aptitude without losing sight of humility and integrity. She has invested in the future of our world in a way that is often overlooked, and that deserves to be celebrated.